“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.” – Khalil Gibran
Can money buy happiness? Yes, according to Harvard Business School – as long as you are spending the money on somebody else. Generosity is good for you. That’s the surprising(?) result of a recent study of 136 countries. No matter what their economic level, from Uganda to Canada, people around the globe consistently reported greater feelings of positivity and wellbeing from helping others – even the memories of the good deed made them feel happy.
A growing consensus of scientists say we are hard-wired for good – that we are cooperative, collective human beings. Our survival depends upon connectivity and empathy with others. People who help one another live longer and pass their empathy genes on. Even toddlers will try to help others in distress. A baby who can’t talk will point things out with her chubby fingers. What’s good for others is good for us. But human beings are also mimics, meaning that we like to imitate what we see. Blame it on mirror neurons, which apparently make both generosity and selfishness contagious.
Generosity. Big word. Big concept. How do we teach our kids to be generous? It’s difficult, especially in a world that values greed. I recently learned that are 1.6 million homeless kids in the U.S. today. Even one child is too many. We parents know how hard it is to keep our kids on track at school. Imagine a child with nowhere to study. Imagine not having a computer or access to resources. The numbers are overwhelming, but we’ve got to start somewhere.
That’s why I am starting the Princess Ivana Foundation, dedicated to education and empowerment for kids, moms, and families. My dreams became reality through education and I am committed to helping others acheive their dreams.
For our first project, the Princess Ivana Foundation is giving away free iPad 3s to new fans or followers. We are also partnering with School on Wheels, a nonprofit that provides a safe learning environment and one-on-one tutoring for homeless kids nationwide. In 2011, School on Wheels touched the lives of 6,480 homeless kids in Southern California alone. I was a volunteer tutor for School on Wheels, and saw firsthand the tremendous good they do.
Join the Princess Ivana Foundation. Together, we can create a vibrant community of active good. We all deserve the opportunity to make our dreams come true.