Photo from power-of-giving.com
Yup, you read the title correctly. When I first heard this statement from Michael Norton, it caught my attention because everyone knows the famous adage, “money CAN’T buy happiness.”
Michael Norton is a professor at the Harvard Business School and he gave a TED talk titled, “Money Can Buy Happiness.” Norton shares an interesting research that he conducted to show how money can buy happiness but the big caveat is it all depends on who you spend the money on. He presents various data to show that when money is spent not on yourself, but rather on others, there are a lot of benefits for the giver as well as for others.
Norton says, “The specific way that you spend on other people isn’t nearly as important as the fact that you spend on other people.”
This once again reinforces what we have always known in the Bible when it says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). If all this is true, then why are we so selfish with our time, talents and treasures? I am wondering if some of us who have a lot of “stuff” but are feeling this sense of emptiness and lack of satisfaction is because we are selfish and just too focused on ourselves.
What would happen if we are more generous?
What would happen if we learned how to give more to others?
What would happen if we contributed to the work of the Kingdom?
I would bet that we would, not only find a greater sense of fulfillment, but we would find greater joy and happiness as we see other people getting blessed by our generosity. Let’s not hoard things to ourselves. Let’s not spend everything we have just on ourselves.
Find someone to bless and blessed them with what God has given you. Also be faithful in giving to God’s work throughout the world. You will not regret it.
Here is the TED talk by Michael Norton. It is worth the 10 minutes.