Happy People Are Givers

When my older daughter, Olivia, was about three or four, she attended a half-day preschool a few days a week. She loved it and was making lots of friends. One day, before I took her, for some reason we got into a conversation about sharing. We talked about how you can share all sorts of things with others, from love to helping someone, to sharing cookies and toys. I suggested that when she was at school that day, she find someone and share something with her. I thought it was one of those normal on-the-run father-daughter talks. I didn’t think much about it.

Later, though, something happened that I will never forget. I picked her up from preschool, and as we were walking around the neighborhood, she began to tell me about her day. I asked her about all her activities, and she told me they had made some cookies and how much she loved them. Then she told me she saw that one of the kids didn’t have any, for some reason, so she walked over and gave some of her cookies to him. I thought that was nice but not earth shattering. She had shared things before. What she said next, however, was.

“Daddy, something happened. I don’t know what it is,” she said as she gave me a serious look.

“What, Livi? What happened,” I asked.

“Well, when I gave Brandon the cookies, I felt something in here. Right here.” She immediately pointed to her little chest. “It felt really warm in here. What was that?” she asked.

When I heard that, I actually felt like I was going to break apart in tears, but I managed to hold them back. “That was love, Livi. That is what you feel inside when you give things to people. It makes you fell nice and warm inside.”

“It feels really good,” she said. “I want to do that some more. I like it.”

The Law of Happiness: How Spiritual Wisdom and Modern Science Can Change Your Life, Dr. Henry Cloud (Howard Books, 2011)

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