On Giving and Making the World a Better Place
Support What Matters
I believe, in the deepest recesses of my being, that the world needs what you and I have to offer. I also believe that we each have an obligation to share of ourselves, our resources, our time, and our energy. We need one another. We need to support one another. And we need to support what matters. For me, that means those in pain, those that have less both near and far, the arts, public radio and television, attorney well-being, our planet, and my local community.
Faith traditions teach us this. It is better to give than to receive. Many scholars, teachers, and wisdom traditions echo this sentiment. Interestingly enough, science supports it too. The secret to well-being, health, and joy is supporting others. I have seen that borne out in my own life, and in my work. As I give more, I feel richer and fuller! And, as the people I serve, heal enough to give, share, and volunteer, they feel better. And, they want to go on giving!
The Science Behind Giving
Through fMRI technology, we know that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. This means that altruism is hardwired in the brain—and it feels good too!
In a controlled experiment, Liz Dunn and colleagues gave students at the University of British Columbia an envelope containing money, and told them that they either had to spend the money on themselves, or on someone else before 5 p.m. Those who gifted others were happier, than those who gifted for themselves. Other experiments demonstrate similar findings.
A Life Well-Lived
So, what do I do to give back and share? Well, I donate a significant portion of my time and/or income to causes such as Colorado Public Radio, my synagogue, the High Line Canal Conservancy, Denver Botanic Gardens, the National Geographic Society, Global Volunteers, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the CWBA (Colorado Women’s Bar Association) and the CWBA Foundation, a myriad of other agencies and specialty Bar Associations committed to attorney well-being, homeless coalitions and food pantries, as well as Mazon, a national advocacy organization working to end hunger among all faiths. And, I donate my time and expertise to individuals and service organizations that need what I have to offer. When you work with me, you too are supporting others less fortunate, our planet, the arts, your colleagues in law, and unbiased news!
I would love to partner with you. My life is enriched by each person I have the privilege to serve. We need, and heal, one another.
Your partner in Realizing Potential, and Well-Being,
Eve A. Wood, M.D.