Is it better to give or receive? Your school might just depend on it.


There is an old saying, “it is better to give then receive”. Is this true? Maybe a myth? Maybe Darwin was right that it is the fittest who survive! Having tested the theory on more then one occasion, it definitely is more enjoyable to give without expecting anything in return. As parents we continually give to our children without ever expecting them to return the favor. And in most cases it feels nice. It fills us with joy. It’s rewarding. It builds the love bonds. Other times a little irritating I must admit, but that goes with being a parent. 

This story was related to me on one occasion when setting up for a Triathlon. The fella who helps run the event was telling me that he had just sponsored a young lady who was opening up a drug rehabilitation Centre in Tasmania and needed help with paying for the flight. He put his hand up to help out. He went on to say that he received a lot more back then he actually gave! It was not his intent to get. He was simply giving, so she could fulfill her dream and ambition. A one-way transaction. He did a little not expecting anything back, yet it came back ten fold in his view. 

What is that? 

Here we have examples which show the original statement to be true. No doubt you the reader would have similar examples. 

Is there any science around this topic?

Let’s have a quick look. 

A recent article by Jo Cutler, Neuroscientist at the University of Sussex in the UK reveals this, 

But research shows that being kind to others can actually make us genuinely happy in a number of different ways. We know that deciding to be generous or cooperating with others activates an area of the brain called the striatum. Interestingly, this area responds to things we find rewarding, such as nice food and even addictive drugs. The feel-good emotion from helping has been termed “warm glow” and the activity we see in the striatum is the likely biological basis of that feeling.”  

The research goes onto say that even spending money on someone else, like buying a gift or even an unexpected good deed, is more powerful in increasing personal happiness aka, “warm glow” then on spending on self. The example above of the fella buying the flight to Tasmania for the young lady is perfect. He was pumped and riding the “warm glow”wave. We as human beings receive great joy out of seeing others happy. This reward of giving and seeing the recipients happiness is contagious. It lifts the mood of all those who have come in contact with the act. It too leads others to want to emulate. Again the man’s generosity toward the young lady he sponsored made me feel good, “warm glow”, as well as encouraged me to want to give in a similar way.

Jo, continues,

“The story doesn’t end there. Being kind may boost your mood, but research has also shown that being in a good mood can make you more kind. This makes it a wonderful two-way relationship which just keeps giving.”

How does this apply to education?

When we set out to give no matter what the industry is ie, as a school whose focus is to give young people the best start in life through education then we are starting from the right position. The right reason and attitude. Starting with the right motivation and the right energy. This position drives the passion. The teachers value and support this position because they believe in it. Parents will do the same. This over time builds a community who are all going in the same direction who share, value, trust and believe in the position. They become passionate believers and advocates so much so they tell all their friends. We need to communicate real heart of the matter messages which underpin the way your school educates. The "how is my school giving to the next generation". Education should not be about the transaction, but about  true altruistic motivation to give and help young people... our future.


O