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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ted Leonsis' Secrets to Happiness: #5

Giving Back: I like the opening line of this section: “I derive more happiness out of giving money away than making it or spending it.” I believe this is the huge, unspoken secret that all philanthropists seem to figure out before many others. Like the old saying goes, “It’s better to give than receive.” And Americans are the most generous folks in the world. In this section, he offers a very brief overview of a Harvard study as scientific proof that charitable giving makes people happy. And while I appreciate his occasional references to research, his personal stories are more personally persuasive, though less scientific and thus less applicable to the population as a whole. He uses examples of Cal Ripken, Steve Case, and Ashley Judd—all worth reading about. I particularly liked his story about how the Internet browser Firefox benefited from the generous contribution of AOL to the Mozilla Foundation to get this open-source browser started and sustained.

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