Januar 07, 2019
You are running down the street, bumping into people, saying “Excuse me!“ about a hundred times. Sweat pearls are starting to run down your back and your heart is beating fast. You‘re tired after a hard day at work, and you just want to catch that train to sit down, lean your head against the seat and relax your throbbing body.
Wow, you're lucky, you got your bum into that wagon just in time, and the train started to move. And you’re even more fortunate, you spot one seat free down the side! Hallelujah! You’re panting and sweaty, but who cares, there’s an empty seat just for you.
The train soon stops again at the next station and in comes an elderly lady. She’s looking around, but no seat is free. She turns around slowly to head back to the standing department between the wagons, but you’re faster. Without even thinking about it, you pop up, tap her on the shoulder and point to the seat you just vacated.
The elderly lady breaks out in a smile and a thankful expression on her face. Your eyes lock for a few seconds, and it doesn't matter how tired and miserable you felt just a few minutes ago, this lady made your day. You feel like a thousand bucks, even with sweat pearls running down your forehead.
So wouldn’t it be cool to be able to have this feeling more often?
You can’t turn the TV on or open the newspaper without being bombarded with negative stories.
It’s awful and so sad, but unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it, or is there?
Honestly, most of us could use an injection of feel good, and lucky us; there are a few things we can easily do that both help others and give ourselves higher levels of self-esteem and happiness.
It doesn’t need to be so obvious or direct. Some of the subtlest of ways can be very powerful in making the world a better place, such as what we buy and what we consume. Compassionate shopping choices, like increased consumption of plant-based products, plays a major role.
If you long for doing something more, more tangible, I have a great suggestion for you and that is to volunteer. All you have to do is to be willing to give your time and engagement. How much, that’s up to you.
Can you remember the last time you felt like you really helped someone?
Can you remember what that felt like?
Volunteering makes us happy
Volunteering offers help to people, animals and the environment. You help the community close to you and every small act adds up to help the world.
But the benefits can be even more significant for you, the volunteer. Volunteering and helping others can help you reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.
Giving in even simple ways can help others and improve your health and happiness.
By helping those who can’t help themselves, I have never felt so sad and happy at the same time. Sad, because I know how much suffering there is and happy because I am doing something about it.
Volunteering makes you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.
„Helpguides“ have written an excellent article about the benefits of giving and volunteering, you can read it here.
So what can you do?
There are a bunch of ways we can help others, depending on the time we can take off from our regular schedule or what we like to do.
Here are some examples of ways to volunteer:
- Making handicrafts or baking for selling and to collect money
- Driving service
- Organising or helping by information stands
- Office work such as data organising or making phone calls
There are plenty of fantastic organisations in Switzerland, and one of them is NetAp which is looking for different people who want to help and volunteer with various tasks.
Maybe this is an excellent time to mill over what you could do for volunteer work and come up with a plan for this year.
I have helped out with different animal rights and welfare organisations in Switzerland for many years, and I can’t recommend it enough. Mainly, I have been helping with information work about how animals are treated and how much they suffer. And also the consequences of these actions on the planet, world hunger and the well being of humans themselves.
And informing as many people as possible about what we can do about it - Yes compassionate shopping!
Have a look around you at what is possible. What’s your passion and how much time do you have? Remember, everything counts.
Even small acts of service help make the world better.
I promise -you won't regret it, and it will give your life a happy push.
Isn’t that what we all want? Not just around Christmas.
PS Get inspired by this pig family helping a fish!
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