Dale Carnegie made the connection between doing good for others and enhancing your own life in this manner: However humdrum your existence may be, you surely meet some people every day of your life. What do you do about them? Do you merely stare though them, or do you try to find out what it is that makes them tick? Take the postman, for example. He travels hundreds of miles every year, delivering your mail; but have you ever taken the trouble to find out where he lives, or ask to see a snapshot of his wife and his kids? Did you ever take an interest in his job by asking him if he gets tired, or if he ever gets bored?
The same principle applies to everyone you come in contact with. What about the boy working at the local grocery store, or the newspaper carrier? These people are human—bursting with troubles, and dreams, and private ambitions. They are also bursting for the chance to share them with someone. But do you ever let them? Do you ever show an eager, honest interest in them or their lives? You don’t have to become a Florence Nightingale or a social reformer to help improve the world—your own private world; you can start tomorrow morning with the people you meet!
What’s in it for you? Much greater happiness! Greater satisfaction, and pride in yourself. Aristotle called this kind of attitude “enlightened selfishness.” Zoroaster said, “Doing good to others is not a duty. It is a joy, for it increases your own health and happiness.” And Benjamin Franklin summed it up very simply—“When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.”
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