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The wonderful life of the altruistic twenty-something


Everyone we know is treading the path to finding meaning in their lives; the journey to finding true happiness. This journey we walk often times starts in our twenties. And the happiness and meaning we seek can be found in unlikely places, from unlikely people. Altruism is selflessly improving others’ welfare at the risk to ourselves. Recent studies are showing that more and more millennials are creating a better world.

Now days young adults are getting involved with a lot of organizations that are fundamentally different than the motivators of their elders. Those over 35 stated free admission as the top draw. Other motivators included priority access, members-only functions, advanced notifications, and member discounts. Those under 35 stated belonging to the organization, supporting the organization, supporting a cause, and making a positive impact as their motivators. CampusAuction CEO Eyal Lichtmann says that for the younger generation, a sense of belonging is important. “Supporting good causes – and being seen to support good causes – are likewise important. Making a positive impact on the world is absolutely crucial as a defining feature of this generation.”

The opportunities to give back are endless! The key is being aware of your surroundings and things happening around you. Help is always needed and appreciated in any way possible. Check out some local non-profit organizations. They’re always looking for volunteers to help with events or around the office. Reconnect with some of your previous schools and tutor and guide the younger generation. You can even visit a homeless shelter to serve food or create greeting cards for the elderly in nursing homes. Altruism is anywhere and everywhere you look, and you can even create your own ways to help out!

Giving to others creates positivity that parallels no other. We perceive others more compassionately and typically find goodness in those that we serve. We establish a sense of connection and community with other people and become appreciative and grateful for our own good fortune. We gain a sense of purpose. Knowing that we are a part of something greater than ourselves can only leave us speechless. One of the most powerful thing about altruism is that it starts a chain reaction. It’s contagious. We can start a ripple effect throughout a community and spread goodness from person to person.

There are no words to describe how I feel when I witness acts of random kindness. There is absolutely no deed deemed miniscule; a teenager walking the elderly at a crosswalk, someone returning a dropped wallet, or even picking up someone’s litter. For a moment I forget about the negativity I see in the news on a daily basis, and I can lean back with a sigh knowing there still are genuine people on this earth with deep integrity for the well-being of others. Just witnessing goodness leaves me in a better place. I get happy and inspired to do something, too. I was a third-person perspective changing into a first-person perspective. My perspective. This world is a big place and I intend on making it better. If at anytime someone from the outside looking in decides to take action, they’ll soon understand that being on the inside feels a whole lot bigger.

Go make this world better. I dare you.

About the Author

Abbygail Sadoy

Abbygail is a psychology and communications major at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She enjoys writing, baking, movies, eating, and traveling. She hopes to one day go into Corporate Communications or become a Social Psychologist.

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