Health, Wealth, and Happiness: The Physical Benefits of Self-Sacrifice

Vitruvian Man, Leonardo Da VinciToday at Common Sense Concept, I offer the third installment to my series on Ayn Rand and the topic of selfless self-interestedness (part 1, part 2). I have previously discussed the spiritual benefits of self-sacrifice, but this time I focus on the physical ones, namely health, wealth, and happiness.

To back up my claim, I rely heavily on Arthur Brooks’ book, Who Really Cares?, which was highly transformative in the shaping of my worldview during college. (Hint: I highly recommend it.)

As Brooks concludes:

Happy, healthy, successful, opportunity-oriented people are most likely to give and to volunteer. At the same time, charitable people are more likely than uncharitable people to be happy, healthy, and financially prosperous. Yes, prosperous people are more likely to give to charity — but charity can also make them prosperous and more likely to make even more charitable contributions.

However, as I’ve mentioned previously, this doesn’t mean such benefits are to be the purpose or the drive of our sacrifice. If so, it wouldn’t be sacrifice. The point, rather, is as follows:

First and foremost, they are important to observe because they further illuminate that Jesus was indeed telling the truth. Give and it shall be given unto you. The last shall be first. Lose your life and you shall find it.

Second, such benefits are further proof that God is good in the here and now. He is not the dictatorial menace painted by Ayn Rand — the lofty bearded wizard who gets pleasure out of striking us with poverty and watching us bleed on an altar of self-flagellation. Rather, he is the Father who shepherds His sheep, the Creator who cares for the birds and the lilies.

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