Updated: Aug 9, 2022
Generous people are the cure for so many problems, it's hard to count the ways. Generous people resolve neighbor disputes before they start. A generous spouse makes marriage so much better. In business and public affairs, people that are kind and generous just make everything work so much better.
On the other hand, selfish people, obsessed with themselves are a formula for failure. Relationships go sour, organizations get off track, groups dissolve into cliques, and families end up estranged from one another when ungenerous people do their thing.
All of us love being around generous, kind people and abhor being around the self centered ones.
And most of us would like to be the generous one. We want to be loving and generous with our neighbors, friends and family. But when we reach the limit of our generosity, it begins to feel like coercion. It just grates on our inner being when we are in a situation where we need to stretch further than our generosity reaches.
That's why this information is so important. Studies have found a simple technique that makes people more generous. More willing to give. Not just forcing ourselves to stretch past our comfort zone. Actually increasing our inclination to be generous. This is so simple, some may dismiss it. But I hope you will give this some serious thought. Because it could make all of us better people!
Ok, here it is. Researchers at the University at Buffalo did an interesting experiment. They had people read a passage that was altered to have either a lot of “I” and “me” statements or a lot of “we” and “us” statements, and asked people to identify all of the pronouns. Just a short exercise, making people focus on "I" and "me" or on "we" and "us" pronouns.
Afterwards, came the real test. After identifying the pronouns, they were told they were through, but would you be willing to volunteer some extra time to contact potential donors to a charity? The results were amazing. Engaging in this simple exercise had a big impact on peoples willingness to volunteer.
The people that identified the “I/me” words were 33% LESS likely to volunteer, but those that identified the “we/us” words were 40% MORE likely to volunteer!
Simply thinking about WE and US
will make us more generous people!
This seems amazing to me, that such a small thing can cause such a big change in behavior. Just a couple of minutes focusing on I/me vs we/us actually changes willingness to volunteer. Absolutely amazing in my book.
Extend this out to society at large, and this could have a huge impact on the world we live in. Just a slight shift in peoples focus, could have a big impact on how people act.
We need a society full of people being kinder to neighbors, nicer to family members, more generous with those less fortunate. How do we take the valuable principle learned in this study and apply it?
This is what this study tells me we should all do.
Don't give up on attending Church. It is probably doing us a lot more good than we realize listening to talks and sermons about being kind to others, and the Golden Rule and forgiving.
Do you belong to a charitable service organization? The Lions Club, Red Cross, Elks Club, etc. Keep on attending. Or find a service group to join. The exposure to their thinking will make us a better person.
Do you have friends you consider generous? Spend time with them and ask about the charities they support. it will influence us in a good way.
As you consider problems in your family, or work place or community, deliberately think through the situation, from the group point of view. How will any proposed solution affect others?
If you are in a situation of leadership, (a parent, supervisor at work, Church leader, etc.) use your influence to encourage people to think about others. It will change their behavior for the good.
Take care and BE HEALTHY!