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The Cameron Method - Newsletter Archive

4 July, 1998 - Giving & Survival

Do you do any volunteering? Or more simply, do you act as a support person for someone else, or in a group of people? How about contributing more than your share in your team at work? Do you even see yourself as part of any team or group? How do you feel about giving of your time or energy in some kind of volunteer work?

In the last newsletter, we wrote of the book Love & Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy by Dean Ornish, M.D. and of the studies that have shown that your health, recovery and longevity prospects increase dramatically with the number and quality of your close supportive relationships.

A further important point was made in the book. It has been found that people who volunteer to help others also greatly increase their health and survival. Investigators have found that activities involving regular volunteer work were among the most powerful predictors of reduced mortality rates. "Those who volunteered to help others at least once a week were two and a half times less likely to die during the study as those who never volunteered. In other words, those who helped others lived longer themselves."

There's some good news. When you help someone else, you really are helping yourself! You can be both unselfish and selfish at the same time. However, the service or giving has to be freely given. There was no positive impact of work that was coerced or forced upon the person.

Not only do people tend to live longer, but they report a sudden burst of endorphins similar to a "runner's high" while helping others. As Ornish puts it, "Anything that helps us freely choose to transcend the boundaries of separateness is joyful." Sounds pretty amazing to come from a medical doctor doesn't it?

If all this sounds too touchy-feely for you, just remember it is to your health's benefit to have close relationships and to give support to others. It is literally good for you to give love and compassion.

There is a revealing story told about Abraham Lincoln riding in a carriage with his secretary of state, William Seward. They were arguing about altruism and Lincoln maintained that people by nature are not altruistic; they are selfish. And Seward believed the opposite.

It had been raining, and they came upon a pig stuck in a fence, squealing loudly. Without a pause, Lincoln stopped the carriage, jumped out into the mud and wrestled the pig free. When he reentered the carriage, Seward told him that he had just proved that he was altruistic. Lincoln replied with a grin, "On the contrary. If I had ignored the pig, I would have suffered the rest of my life hearing him in my dreams."

So, just give caring, compassion and help to others for your own selfish sake!

Let's see how we can tie in the Releasing Strategy to these thoughts. Repeat each statement until you can say it easily.

Have a great day,
Sharon and Clark Cameron

The Cameron Group
Helping People Create Attitudes That Work For Them


"Attitude makes all the difference!"

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