Lend a Hand: How Helping Others Makes You Healthier

Study after study confirms that altruism not only makes us happier but actually improves our health. Yet we see a stranger’s struggle and still pass by.

It was pouring rain at the bus stop, but under my supersize golf umbrella was an oasis of dryness. A man ran toward the stop. Then he stood next to me, head down and hands in pockets.He obviously hadn’t checked the weather forecast that morning.A part of me wanted to ask this stranger if he’d like to share my umbrella. Another part of me, however, didn’t want to stand that close to someone I didn’t know.I argued with myself for seconds and then minutes. Eventually the bus came, and so did my guilt. As I sat on that bus and stared at that poor wet man, I couldn’t help but obsess. Here I was, a health journalist. If anyone knew about the healing powers of kindness, generosity, and altruism, it was me. On a spiritual level, I believed that world peace came from individual acts of kindness and generosity.So why had I hoarded that umbrella? Why was my urge to help overpowered by my urge not to help?And why do good people fail to do good?WHY GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLEAccording to Darwin’s theory of evolution and “the survival of the fittest,” the strongest survive to pass on their genes to the next gen …

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