Not only is your happiness and welfare related to others, but the more you help them, the happier you will be. – Dalai Lama
What does that mean?
This is a fundamental truth in life. If you think about some of your happiest moments in life, rarely are they solely about you.
Even when you win something, there are usually others involved in preparing you for your victory, and are celebrating your victory as well.
Similarly, when someone you work with, help, or are otherwise involved with wins or achieves something, you celebrate with them. Sometimes even if you were in the running for the same prize.
If you can feel this with your closest friends or with family, why not with others as well? We are all one great human family, and we can celebrate the achievements of any and all. And isn’t that what the Spirit of the Olympics is all about?
Why is camaraderie important?
Camaraderie is defined at TheFreeDictionary.com as “the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability.” In short, it is the ability to get along well with others, and not be a pain in the neck to anyone. We all know people like that, and those who were the opposite.
Take a moment and consider someone who was easy to like. Where was their heart? Were they concerned about your happiness or your welfare? Were they doing something to assist you in some way? WI have found that to be the case in my life, and I imagine you have seen a few examples of it as well.
Now consider those who were the opposite. How many of them were interested in you in any way, shape, or form? How many of them cared if you were happy or cared anything about your welfare or wellbeing? For me, that covers the majority of them, excluding the people who are simply grumpy, but still care.
By caring about others and their state of happiness and well-being, you will find your quality of life increase. When you act to help them and their condition, it will increase that much more. We are social animals, we humans, and that comes to the fore when we help one another.
Where can I apply this in my life?
We all have people, however few, about whom we care. We are concerned about their happiness, as well as their welfare or wellbeing. And from time to time, we even take action to assist them. And the feeling, the happiness and sense of purpose which flows into us, can be quite rewarding.
I don’t know about you, but some of my happiest moments are from such actions. Whether it was helping prepare a home for a future owner (who I never met), or dropping off food for a struggling family (again, who I had not seen before or after), the feeling happiness was almost overwhelming.
While such feelings may or may not be a motivating factor for you, consider how you felt when others had helped you. Yes, there might be a little resentment, but why does one feel that when being helped? Is that a bit of the unhelpful pride showing its ugly head?
Consider how it feels to know that you helped someone. Whether it was as simple as putting a smile on their face by saying “hello” or as substantial as meeting a significant need, and contributing to their welfare or well-being, it feels good. And you know that they feel better as well.
That is part of the camaraderie which humans are supposed to have with one another. But that can be a bit overwhelming for most of us. Sometimes it can be difficult feeling that way about the handful of people who make up our families and our closest friends. Add seven billion others? Hard to do.
Yet I believe it is worth a try. Starting with the little things, like a smile and a “hello” might not seem like much, but it can really make a difference for a lot of people. And it can make a difference for you as well. Try it, say hello and smile at every person you see today. How much will your face hurt the next morning?
If your face hurts from smiling “too much” (is there really such a thing?) what does that say about you and how often you smile? That might be something to think about, right? But how do you feel afterwards? And just as important is the question “How do they feel afterwards?”
This planet is getting smaller by the moment. There are only about 6 countries on the planet where my blog has not been read. While it may sound like I’m bragging (and I guess I am, just a little), the point is we are all connected, and more so every day. How will you greet these new people?
People all over the world are reaching out and touching one another every day. Let your touch be the touch of kindness and helpfulness.