Monday, September 21, 2009

Tony's Blog: What do Unhappy People Have in common? They watch more TV. What makes you happy is...

connection between people.

A study from the University of Maryland that followed people for 30 years concluded that unhappy people watch more TV, while people who describe themselves as very happy, spend more time reading and socializing. We have seen other studies that conclude the same. It seems that even people who say that "in the moment" their television watching is pleasurable, over the long haul are far less happy than those who spend more time socializing.

On the other hand, people who volunteer to help others, report a much higher level of happiness in their lives because they are exercising two very powerful happiness generators:
1. being socially connected to others;
2. being connected with something bigger than yourself;

Perhaps this is why I enjoy the company of the wonderful folks who volunteer to mentor youth. They are generally happier people.

So here's the shameless pitch: if you reduce your time in front of the TV by 5%, you can use that time to mentor a young person in one of Youth Mentoring Connection's programs, or one of the many other mentoring programs around the country and world. Because you create that vital human connection for two people you Change Two Lives.

*researchers at UC Berkeley estimate that the average American spends approximately 3 hours per day watching TV.
One hundred years from now,
it will not matter what kind of car I drove,
what kind of house I lived in
how much I had in my bank account,
nor what my clothes looked like.
But the world may be a little better
because I was important
in the life of a child

Tony LoRe

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