Giving is Good For Your Brain

Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from frequent blog contributor and board member, Jerry Bellune.

My father used to tell me that I had no idea how much he enjoyed giving to his children. Being young and the recipient of his generosity, I only understood how pleasant it was to be on the receiving end. Now that my wife and I have children of our own, I can appreciate his sentiment.  Giving is a wonderful act of sharing one’s good fortune with others.

That’s why it is such a pleasure for so many of us to contribute to a cause as fine as literacy tutoring for adults. They, as is commonly said, slipped through the cracks of our fine educational system. This is not a failure of educators. It is a result of our limited understanding of the learning difficulties many less fortunate face in mastering the skills most of us take for granted.

Many who donate to Turning Pages do so for good reason. Such altruism does not go unrewarded. Altruism can be immensely fulfilling, Robert Sapolsky wrote in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago. Neuro-imaging studies show that altruistic acts activate reward centers of the brain.  Anonymous altruism, with its glow from doing good by our internal standards, has its own personal rewards. And by being anonymous, givers need not fear they will become the targets of every fund-raiser in their community. If you prefer to remain anonymous, rest assured we will protect your privacy.

We need contributions to keep our program going and our tutors teaching our learners to deal with an increasingly complex world. This is not limited to reading and writing skills. They learn work and life skills important to survival and their ability to earn adequate incomes to support their families.

It’s easy to give to Turning Pages. Just click on the donate button to the left of this message and it will show you what to do. Thank you for joining us in this great cause to help others to a fuller, more rewarding life.

Image via Penn State

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