Thursday, November 24, 2016
Other people are the best antidote to the downs of life and the single most reliable way up. Hence my snide comment about Sartre's "Hell is other people." My friend Stephen Post, professor of Medical Humanities at Stony Brook, tells a story about his mother. When he was a young boy, and his mother saw that he was in a bad mood, she would say, "Stephen, you are looking piqued. Why don't you go out and help someone?" Empirically, Ma Post's maxim has been put to rigorous test, and we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.
-Martin E. P. Seligman, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being