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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

Generosity Feels Good

Sometimes when people want to put something down, they will say, “Oh, that’s just a feel-good thing!” The criticism is usually leveled at a person or program trying to do something very positive, and it always surprises me that people can find a way to be critical of others who are actually trying to make a difference.

Feeling good is an amazing thing. It shouldn’t be our god or the sole mission of our lives, but feeling good has its purpose and there are many things that should feel good. And God has nothing against us feeling good. He invented it. Let’s think a little bit about why in the context of generosity.

Things that feel good feel good for a reason, and part of the reason is because they draw us toward the fullest expression of our potential as human beings. That’s not to say that experiences that give us those good feelings cannot be misused, abused, distorted, corrupted, and indulged for the wrong reasons. We all know they can, because we have all done this in various ways.

Nonetheless, we are constantly being invited back into right-relationship with all things. Every day is an invitation to foster right relationship with ourselves, other people, God, work, food, money, health, nature, culture, creativity, and of course generosity.

Generosity feels good. You are not imagining it, and it’s not just metaphorical. Generosity literally feels good. Scientists have discovered that one of the reasons is because when you are generous your body releases oxytocin into your bloodstream. This is the hormone that is released during childbirth, sex, breastfeeding, exercise, and while hugging, holding hands, listening to music, and sharing a meal with friends. Oxytocin induces feelings of warmth, euphoria, and connection with others. Generosity literally produces an oxytocin high, and that is one of the reasons it feels good. But those good feelings are just bread crumbs designed to lead us to what is morally good. And that is where we experience our deepest experience of satisfaction and fulfillment. The ultimate feel-good sensations come from doing what is good, right, just, and noble.

Now, here is today’s generosity habit.

Write an amazing review for your favorite song, book, or product. These are someone’s life’s work. If they have enriched your life, share that with the world.

Matthew Kelly

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