Philanthropy: The Pleasure it Provides

New York, N.Y.  It is very difficult to succeed in our world today.  Standards are significantly higher, and for one to be self-satisfied, a copious amount of strenuous work is required.  A businessman may be self-satisfied when his paycheck reaches six digits.  A doctor may be self-satisfied when he heals his hundredth patient.  A high school student may be self-satisfied when he gets an “A” in English class.

Regardless, it is rare for one to climb into bed at night, one hundred percent proud and satisfied with oneself.  It is definitely a wonderful pleasure, but all would accede to the fact that it would be gratifying if that level of satisfaction were persistently attained.  As a young adult, I see the world as a very intimidating place.  The competition is abundant, and for me to feel content with myself, I have to almost fulfill my aspiration perfectly.  I would say most of my peers are the same way.  No matter how good the accomplishment, it could have and should have been better.

I can share a trick with you that I discovered while receiving the pleasure of accomplishment and self-satisfaction. I can promise you automatic satisfaction and pleasure whenever you choose to have it.  This little secret that I share with you, on this page, can have you sleep at night proud of yourself, regardless of how your day went.  I am a living witness, and assure you this tactic works, since it had me going to sleep at night content, even with my teenage stress, hormones, and anxiety.  The secret is one word.

“Philanthropy.”  Read it again.  Philanthropy.  Say it out loud.  Let the word flow through your lips and stream into your ears and penetrate your brain.  Philanthropy, charity work, or community service, whatever you choose to call it, is the key to happiness.  The word philanthropy may sound intimidating and as if it requires a lot of work, but it doesn’t.  Yes it is true there are massive scales of philanthropy, some of which I hosted like entertaining fundraisers, charitable drives, and community service programs, but philanthropy comes in a small scale too.

In the capitalist world we live in today, it feels very good to bring in earnings. In my sophomore year of high school, I was selling academic review sheets and storing away the money.  One Monday afternoon, after two students had paid me my earnings, I walked into the cafeteria to buy lunch.  All the students were surrounding a lunch table, and when I went to see what was going on, I saw a fellow student had bought a huge box of munchkin doughnuts and was eating them himself.  All of the other students were begging him to give them some but he refused until he offered to sell it to them for ten dollars, double the price he had paid.  The students continued to beg and after he continuously rejected them, they all walked away with disappointed faces.

I looked at the two five dollar bills the two students had just paid me for my review sheets and thought about how insignificant the ten dollars was to me, since I had brought my own lunch from home and didn’t need the money.  I walked up to the student with the doughnuts and with the ten dollars bought the entire box.  Before I continue, I would like to say that I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  The Celiac Disease prohibited me from eating any Wheat or Gluten products, which if consumed, resulted in serious medical consequences.

I bought the doughnuts and paid the student his ten dollars.  I then walked to every lunch table and gave each student one free munchkin.  The smiles on the kids’ faces gave me a sense of pleasure way greater than the pleasure I had received when the two students paid me the ten dollars.  The ten dollars the students paid me, as pleasurable as it was at the time, would have been spent by the end of the day and forgotten about, while this act of giving still gives me a sense of pleasure and satisfaction, even till this day, years later.

Over the years I have visited hospitals, old age homes, schools for special needs, and food pantries and have hosted charity events such as parties, tournaments, talent shows, food drives, and toy drives.  This makes me greedy.  I am indulging myself with pleasure by helping others.  Every time I visited the old age home, or every time I raised money for a good cause, I slept at night with a big smile on my face.

So the next time you’re down, or stressed, or discontented with yourself, lend a hand.  The next time you succeed, make it big, or accomplish something great, give something away.  See the real pleasure you receive inside when helping a fellow friend. It is human nature to take and to keep, since we all want to survive in the difficult world today. But when we give, as hard as it is, we receive surreal sublime pleasure.

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Isaac J. Kassin
Isaac J. Kassin is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author, studying Finance and Marketing at the NYU Stern School of Business. As Co-Founder of Financial Technology startup Exeq Instituional, member of The Luce Foundation’s Board of Directors, and Founder of The World Youth Initiative, Isaac has raised over a million dollars for causes meaningful to him. Isaac has been mentioned in the media including The Huffington Post and The Stewardship Report, and is author of The Alphabet Kids Go to the Planetarium, a children's book encouraging interest in science. His focus today is on building his company and on spreading goodness through his upcoming charity campaigns.

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