Altruism For The Holidays & Beyond

Altruism is an essential part of happiness.  The main Ingredients?

1. Sense of control over your own life.

2. Intimate connection with others.

3. Work-meaningful activity. 

4. Altruism going beyond yourself for the well-being of others.

Similarly, the 12th century Jewish scholar Maimonides came up with the idea of The Ladder Of Giving.  Each rung up represents a higher degree of altruism:

One. The lowest:  giving begrudgingly and making the recipient feel disgraced or embarrassed.

Two. Giving cheerfully, but giving too little.

Three. Giving cheerfully and adequately, but only after being asked.

Four. Giving before being asked.

Five. Giving when you do not know who is the individual benefiting, but the recipient knows your identity.

Six. Giving when you know who is the individual benefiting, but the recipient does not know your identity.

Seven. Giving when neither the donor nor the recipient is aware of the other's identity.

Eight. The Highest: giving money, a loan, your time, or whatever else it takes to enable an individual to be self-reliant.