There is a Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” For centuries, the greatest thinkers have suggested the same thing: Happiness is found in helping others.
For it is in giving that we receive — Saint Francis of Assisi
The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity — Leo Tolstoy
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give — Winston Churchill
Making money is a happiness; making other people happy is a superhappiness — Nobel Peace Prize receipient Muhammad Yunus
Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping, because giving gives you purpose. When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person — Goldie Hawn
And so we learn early: It is better to give than to receive. The venerable aphorism is drummed into our heads from our first slice of a shared birthday cake. But is there a deeper truth behind the truism?
The resounding answer is yes. Scientific research provides compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. Through fMRI technology, we now know that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in the brain—and it’s pleasurable. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful.
But it’s important to remember that giving doesn’t always feel great. The opposite could very well be true: Giving can make us feel depleted and taken advantage of. Here are some tips to that will help you give not until it hurts, but until it feels great:
1. Find your passion
Our passion should be the foundation for our giving. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving. It’s only natural that we will care about this and not so much about that, and that’s OK. It should not be simply a matter of choosing the right thing, but also a matter of choosing what is right for us.
2. Give your time
The gift of time is often more valuable to the receiver and more satisfying for the giver than the gift of money. We don’t all have the same amount of money, but we all do have time on our hands, and can give some of this time to help others—whether that means we devote our lifetimes to service, or just give a few hours each day or a few days a year.
3. Give to organizations with transparent aims and results
According to Harvard scientist Michael Norton, “Giving to a cause that specifies what they’re going to do with your money leads to more happiness than giving to an umbrella cause where you’re not so sure where your money is going.”
4. Find ways to integrate your interests and skills with the needs of others
“Selfless giving, in the absence of self-preservation instincts, easily becomes overwhelming,” says Adam Grant, author of Give & Take. It is important to be “otherish,” which he defines as being willing to give more than you receive, but still keeping your own interests in sight.
5. Be proactive, not reactive
We have all felt the dread that comes from being cajoled into giving, such as when friends ask us to donate to their fundraisers. In these cases, we are more likely to give to avoid humiliation rather than out of generosity and concern. This type of giving doesn’t lead to a warm glow feeling; more likely it will lead to resentment. Instead we should set aside time, think about our options, and find the best charity for our values.
6. Don’t be guilt-tripped into giving
I don’t want to discourage people from giving to good causes just because that doesn’t always cheer us up. If we gave only to get something back each time we gave, what a dreadful, opportunistic world this would be! Yet if we are feeling guilt-tripped into giving, chances are we will not be very committed over time to the cause.
The key is to find the approach that fits us. When we do, then the more we give, the more we stand to gain purpose, meaning and happiness—all of the things that we look for in life but are so hard to find.
Jenny Santi is a philanthropy advisor and author of The Giving Way to Happiness: Stories & Science Behind the Life-Changing Power of Giving
Students are required by instructors to present some academicassignments as essays, which are continuous pieces of writingwith different propositions, ideas, and justifications outforward and analyzed in a few paragraphs. When writing yourhelping others essay, it’s important to plan its structure to letevery paragraph flow logically and be wrapped up with aconclusion. After reading your paper, other people shouldunderstand clearly:
- What it says;
- How you justify it.
Follow effective guidelines that will help you submit anexcellent writing assignment about helping others.
Read and understand essay prompts
First, read assignment prompts and questions and answer a fewbasic questions:
- Do you understand them clearly?
- What is the hypothesis put forward for its further analysisor discussion?
- Can you rephrase these questions for yourself?
An essay outline is a must because it determines its futurestructure, what you will say, and what evidence you will bring tosupport your words.
When researching, use only reliable sources or texts. Be sure tofind out acknowledgeable experts on the chosen topic. Otherwise,readers won’t be convinced by your ideas because you aren’t awareof key facts. The research process also provides you with manyuseful materials, but you should choose only the best ones tosupport your response to a given essay question.
Beware of generalizations
Generalizations should be avoided if you want to come up with agood essay. For example, if you’re too general and offer thebroad evidence in your writing, which is not asked by assignmentprompts, you will fail to earn high marks. You also need to avoidbeing too imaginative and talking about irrelevant things.
Basic question terminology
Next, analyze key verbs in your essay prompts, such as:
- Narrate and others.
These verbs provide you with a better idea of the right approachto understanding and addressing your assignment. You should lookat them carefully because they determine your approach to essaywriting. Besides, other words in prompts can give you the mainkey to the subject matter that must be included in your response.
How to get started
There are different methods that can be used to get started ifyou’re stuck when writing a paper about helping others.
- Use available tools to generate interesting ideas;
- Take a blank sheet and write everything that comes to yourmind when considering your assignment prompts;
- List fresh and unique ideas as they occur;
- Draw a special diagram with the chosen topic in its centralcircle;
- Use a mind map to write down interesting ideas and determinehow they’re related to each other.
Ask yourself what you should find out after this idea-generatingsession because it will provide with great areas or patterns tofollow. Use all available sources of information, includingonline resources, other people, books, journals, etc.
The importance of making notes
Some topics require students to conduct more research, whileothers require more thinking and analysis. Gather only usefulinformation and avoid wasting your time on unnecessary orirrelevant facts. Analyze a given question and determine what youshould do based on it. Rewrite this question in the form that youcan easily understand. Your notes may vary based on the chosenwriting style, and producing originality is the main goal toachieve.
Effective essay planning
At this stage, think about the targeted audience of your essay onthis subject. Everything that you write should be easy-to-followand clear to readers instead of being just unrelated points. Ofcourse, facts are significant for any academic paper, but youneed to use them in an organized fashion. Start grouping all thematerials you gather through different ways, such as:
- Grouping all headings;
- Forming pattern diagrams or using a tree diagram;
- Single cards for single points allocated to group allheadings later one.
Once you group everything, organize the sequence of your ideas orchoose the right order for useful information to flow in youressay.
Choose the right type of essay
When instructors ask you to write about helping others, determinethe right type of essay that you must write. There are differenttypes, and they all have their differences and similarities. Lookfor a key in your assignment prompts.
Expository essay writing
The basic purpose of this paper is to explain or acquaint readerswith something. You can use an expository essay to explain,describe, or present your interesting information. This type ofwriting requires students to define or explain a particulartopic, using good examples, facts, and stats. It’s always basedon facts instead of personal emotions, and that’s why you shouldneither reveal your feelings nor write in the first person.
To write a great expository paper, planning and detailed researchare required to provide you with enough facts and relevantinformation that you will convey to the audience. This essay typealso requires students to show their understanding of a givensubject. That’s why teachers often assign it to check how welltheir students know a particular topic. In most cases, expositorypapers consist of 5 standard paragraphs, but you may be asked tosubmit a longer essay.
Evaluations or reviews
A review can be either informal or formal, and everything dependson its context. Its main purpose is to evaluate a given piece,such as a movie or a novel. In this type of writing, yourpersonal opinion plays a big role. Although reviews involve acertain degree of subjectivity, it’s still necessary to maintainsome objective standards because any assertion that you make mustbe proved.
This assignment leads you into other people’s works and asks youto compare their ideas with yours. Writing a research essayinvolves reading source materials and synthesizing everythingthat you learn from them with your own thoughts. Find interestingtexts on a given subject and use them to back up the topic youexplore. It’s simple for many students to get lost in availablematerials, so you should be quite careful when narrowing yourtopic.
Comparison and contrast papers
The main function of compare and contrast papers is to find bothdifferences and similarities between 2 or more things or objects.This assignment requires you to be an attentive observer. Mostteachers don’t ask their students to conduct any scholarlyresearch or include specific referencing. This type of writing isvery subjective in its nature, and you need to come up with thedifferences and similarities that you can analyze and point out.
Writing narrative essays is all about telling readers a vividstory about any important or interesting real-life experience orevent. This assignment requires you to write and think aboutyourself, and you should involve readers by making your story ascatchy as possible. It’s written in the first person, which helpsyou engage others and provide them with a feeling of beinginvolved in your story. A well-written narrative always buildstoward making a personal statement and drawing a logicalconclusion.
This type of writing is about painting a bright picture withwords. You need to describe a certain place, person, object, ormemory. However, a descriptive essay isn’t written for adescription’s sake, unlike you may think. It should strive tocommunicate a deep meaning through a description. It’s necessaryto show readers instead of telling them, using only sensorydetails and bright words. Appeal to their emotions to achieve ahighly evocative result.
Persuasive and argumentative papers
Their basic goal is to convince other people to accept yourstance or point of view. You need to build a strong case, usingyour reasoning and facts, logic and examples, expert opinion andquotes. Be sure to present all sides of the main argument whileproving why a particular position is correct clearly and withoutany equivocation. When choosing a topic, avoid writing about suchsubjects that can’t be won, no matter how strong you feel aboutthem.
This essay should explore the following:
- Goals of a rhetorician;
- Used tools or techniques;
- Their good examples;
- Their effectiveness.
When writing any rhetorical analysis, you should discuss how arhetorician makes a particular argument and if this approach iseffective. Don’t try to say if you agree with it or not becauseyou will fail.
Cause and effect papers
A cause and effect essay explains to readers the reasons of aspecific event or interprets its outcomes. This assignment isalso concerned with why the chosen event happen (causes) and whatit brings as a result (effects). It’s a popular method ofdiscussing and organizing ideas.
They are written to rank specific objects or groups based to acommon standard. To write a good classification paper, you needto sort or organize different things into special categories.It’s a convenient and effective method to simplify complexnotions and arrange important data.
Structuring your essay
As you can see, there are different essay types that serve manypurposes, but their basic structure is similar. When writing yourpaper about helping others, follow a basic format to impressinstructors.
An introductory paragraph set the right tone for the entire essaywhile helping you engage the audience by outlining a given topic,your position on it, and major arguments. This section serves animportant role because it tells readers what to expect in otherparagraphs, including:
- How you will prove your point of view;
- How you will support it through relevant examples fromcredible sources.
The essay introduction is where you tell others what you’re goingto say. It should start with a catchy sentence to gain theattention of readers and set up the context for your paper. Forexample:
- If your paper about helping others is expository, you argueonly from one point of view, and the first sentence eitherstrongly opposes or supports ideas in a given question;
- When giving a response to any discussion question, you arguefrom a few points of view, and the first sentence shows thatthere are many valid positions to take about it.
State your ideas and response to a given essay question in theintroduction. It’s your statement of the chosen position and itshows readers if you agree with it or not. An introductoryparagraph also outlines why you choose this stance with a briefsummary of strong evidence from updated sources to support it.
The main body
The main body of your essay is where you expand on the main ideasor points outlined in its introductory paragraph. Convincereaders of your stance and answer assignment prompts in thissection. It should include a few linked and strong paragraphswith references to reliable sources to support your point ofview. In general, this is where you say what you need to say.Don’t forget to put linking words or phrases to connect allparagraphs and ideas. Start every paragraph with a lead or topicsentence to explain its key idea. Feel free to write more thanone paragraph for one idea if you have enough space. Support youropinion with great examples taken from other sources, includingexpert quotes and references.
Your essay conclusion is one paragraph that answers the keypoints or questions outlined in its introduction. It also givesyou a great chance to restate your stance and persuade readerswith references to strong evidence in the main body. A concludingparagraph of your paper about helping others is where you saywhat you’ve said. Remind the audience of your stance withoutintroducing any new facts. You can clinch all arguments with anevaluation statement, a fresh expression, or a reference to themain points. Your conclusion should end with a strong note toreinforce the entire essay.
A brief essay writing checklist
- Read assignment prompts attentively;
- Underline all key words and choose the right essay type towrite;
- Use only relevant and updates sources;
- Take notes;
- Reference all quotes correctly;
- Brainstorm interesting ideas;
- Develop the main idea or argument;
- Organize all notes into an effective essay plan;
- Ensure that all points are relevant;
- Write the introduction to engage readers and open yourdiscussion;
- Write the main body with strong points and their supportingevidence;
- Write the conclusion to summarize your ideas, demonstrate howyou prove them, and reaffirm the introduction;
- Edit your essay and check for its grammar, spelling, andpunctuation;
- Ensure that a final copy is 100% perfect.