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The Healing Power of Doing Good

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The healthiest way to help may be face to face. We explore the four-hour-per-month minimum connection for your own health and well-being.

This appeared in our June 2003 issue.If you can remember the sixties, you remember a time when the urge to exercise caused most people to sit down and wait for it to go away. Of course, those who took walks or played tennis could feel the immediate benefits in their bones, but the medical wisdom of the day favored slowing down, taking advantage of the latest work-saving devices brought to us by modern technology. Hard running, for example, was thought to enlarge the heart and cut one’s lifespan. A heart attack brought a prescription for an extended stay in bed. It took decades and countless studies to get us to wake up to what should have been obvious all along. Our bodies are made to move. Whether we follow it or not, we have all learned the mantra: Exercising vigorously for 20 minutes three times a week is a minimum requirement for health. Nowadays we need to wake up to a new mantra that is perhaps even more important for ourselves and the world. We have all felt the rush of ecstasy that follows a random act of kindness, and we think of ourselves as a nation of volunteers. But two facts are becoming …

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