The Happiness Paradox

How strange that giving rather than receiving makes us richer

Arthur Ashe, champion tennis player, aptly captured the contradictory nature
of pursuing life and happiness.  “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” Our theme for this newsletter, then, is Giving Back, and finds its origin in our visit to Tumi and Karabo, in January.

Tumi and Karabo is a crèche for toddlers in Alexandra, and is the project adopted by Chartered Wealth and our clients for 2014.

While we were standing and watching the children – smiles as wide as the hoola-hoops with which they were playing – I was overwhelmed by the reminder that so much of what we don’t need can be utilised by so many others. Over the past few months, I have applied in my home the philosophy that says: “If something I own no longer serves me, I will pass it on to someone for whom it will have value.”  This lesson I learnt from Kate Emmerson, Quick-Shift Deva, whose presentations I have attended and found tremendously challenging and liberating.

By passing on those items that no longer serve me, I have experienced more excitement, I think, than the recipient of those items.  I have been encouraged to look at so many material things in my possession with new eyes.

A final point I wish to leave with you … I often think we want to contribute, but are so paralysed by seeing the project as too big.  Start small.  I recently read an article about a wonderful woman giving sanitary towels to girls who otherwise would be missing school.  Each month, via a debit order, I contribute a small amount, in the belief that just that donation transforms the life of a
young woman.  …

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