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So many people walk around with a meaningless life.  They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important.  This is because they’re chasing the wrong things.  The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. ~ Mitch Albom (Tuesdays With Morrie:  An Old Man, A Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson)

Helping others is a good thing to do. It makes us happier and connects us to others, creating stronger communities and helping to build a happier society for everyone. When we see someone do something kind or thoughtful, or we are on the receiving end of kindness, it inspires us to be kinder ourselves.  We can do good for others by volunteering.  Volunteering enhances our overall sense of purpose and identity. People who volunteer are more likely to be happier than those that don’t.

Among teenagers, even at-risk children who volunteer reap big benefits, according to research findings studied by Jane Allyn Piliavin, a retired University of Wisconsin sociologist. She cites a positive effect on grades, self-concept, and attitudes toward education. Volunteering also led to reduced drug use and huge declines in dropout rates and teen pregnancies.

Serve people by showing them how beautiful life can be when we serve others. Aristotle wrote that finding happiness and fulfillment is achieved by loving rather than in being loved. Helping others goes hand in hand with meaningfulness. Helping others creates the sense of meaning in our lives.

As stated in James 2:14-17, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

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