Good things Happen to Good People but Only Because They Practice Every Day!
“Giving is the most potent force on the planet and will protect you your whole life,” says Melvin Feller MA. Melvin Feller is the CEO/Founder of Melvin Feller Business Group and is Director of the Feller Foundation. Business Success is important but giving back to others is even more important for Melvin Feller. Melvin Feller MA is quick to give credit to his undergraduate degree as a Social Scientist at heart.
Melvin Feller MA. Has looked carefully at the role of self-giving love, especially in the spiritual and religious contexts, with respect to the healing of the giver. That’s been a big theme for both his business and foundation. For example, he has studied the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Our company followed people who’ve gone dry for a few months after detox and are in a 12-step program. The ones who fulfill the 12-step program by very clear measures that were developed and who also engaging themselves in the care of other alcoholics through various mechanisms have a 40 per cent recovery rate a year later. The ones who do all the other steps-surrender; let go, let God, however understood; take a moral inventory; make amends and the like-have a 22 per cent rate of recovery after a year. So, caring for other alcoholics, the disinhibition of self-giving love, doubles the likelihood of recovery during this one-year period. That’s big news, especially since there are probably 350 to 400 12-step groups based on the 12-step paradigm.
In addition, we have not scientifically studied the neuroscience of people’s experiences of divine love as reported by themselves. We’ve looked at this developmentally. We’ve tried to understand whether people’s perceptions, experiences, and beliefs in divine love protect them from post-traumatic stress and even allow them to experience post-traumatic growth, which isn’t as often studied as post-traumatic stress.
Melvin Feller organizations have also have looked at what you might call the humane substrate. Our studies have examined everything from attachment theory in early life and newborn development to the extent to which in later life they are able to become efficient sources of unconditional love. We studied the kinds of factors that will indicate whether some individuals will become rescuers, or not, in difficult, even genocidal situations.
We have tried to determines whether someone will become a rescuer? However, there are two important factors in whether somebody will later in life become a rescuer. One is whether the individual can look back in life and report high levels of empathy and care in the family, especially on the parent-child axis. There other thing is that rescuers report at very high levels that they were not browbeaten but rather that their parents engaged them in conversation around things like the positive version of the golden rule-not the negative but the positive version. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. These two factors alone were the strongest predictors of who would become a rescuer.
Melvin Feller MA has found that happiness is a byproduct of living generously. People who are self-described as being people of generosity and self-giving love, people who are concerned for others in their actions or in affect are happier than people who don’t fall into these categories. The chief predictor of self-reported happiness is not material wellbeing. It is not the power we hold over others, the accumulation of accolades or prestige. The single most important predictor of happiness is whether a person is living as much for others as for self. A national survey, one we didn’t conduct, found three indicators of whether people in America are happy. Friendships came first.
Seventy-six percent of those surveyed said that friendships made them happy. They described friendship in benevolent rather than selfish terms. Seventy-five percent said that-quote-contributing to the lives of others-end quote-made them happy. Sixty-two percent said that religion or spirituality made them happy. They might go to a church or synagogue and hear a message about doing unto others or being engaged in certain kinds of altruistic activities, Habitat or whatever, with other congregants.
Melvin Feller and the organization, stumbled on to a remarkable fact is that giving, even in later years, can delay death. The impact of giving is just as significant as not smoking and avoiding obesity. A 2015 study conducted by Marcus Harris a of Utah University found that frequent volunteering is strongly linked to later mortality. Called the Longitudinal Study on Aging, it followed more than 7,500 older people for six years. Volunteering was a powerful protector of mental and physical health. Another study, a recent survey of older people by Melvin Feller Business Group found that helping others lowers depression. Feller found that, for older men, ten years of volunteering can dramatically slash mortality rates.
Another study did a study involving 2,025 older residents of Utah and found that those who volunteered had a 44 percent reduction in mortality-and those who volunteered for two or more organizations had an astonishing 63 percent lower mortality rate than non-volunteers. If you are an older adult, I have one recommendation: volunteer!
Melvin Feller MA also points out that we live in a world where people are likely to say, “I want to be happy, and if it means breaking up this marriage, the kids will understand that I needed to be happy.”
However, Feller is quick to point out that Love without loyalty is a joke. Imagine if someone said, “I love you, but only for 30 seconds.” It wouldn’t quite ring true. Loyalty is a significant expression of any kind of love worthy of the word. When we enter into marriage it’s very important that we have loyalty in mind. The literature is very clear that marriages tend to last longer if they begin in friendship so when people who’ve been friends, who have common interests, who have loyalty on the basis of friendship marry, those relationships tend to endure more so than relationships based on a physical arousal, if you will, a kind of romantic Eros. That’s not always the case, but as a generalization, it is true. The literature is very clear that Eros itself is inadequate for a long and successful marriage. It only lasts so long and then one becomes-shall we say? -a more realistic about the qualities of the other.
In the studies of the Feller Foundation, Melvin Found that commitment to the relationship is an important factor for older couples who’ve had lasting marriages. He studied more than 50 couples who had been married for more than 25 years. He found that the couples who were happier and more in love after all these years were the ones who had a commitment to the relationship. So, in that sense, loyalty in marriage is not just loyalty to a particular spouse but it’s loyalty to the sense that people have of the dignity of human beings generally considered. I don’t claim that all marriages should last forever, but with regard to divorce, yeah, the idea that somehow people benefit from quick and easy divorce, both partners and children, is just not the case. What it creates is a lot of panicky, anxious emotion both in adults and in their children as they look for some kind of emotional stability in life that’s not available to them.
So, the so-called low threshold of divorce based on what is called low conflict is not beneficial for anybody else. But when you have high-conflict situations, it’s pretty clear that separation or divorce can be beneficial for spouses and children. Nobody debates that in certain circumstances-profound abuse or neglect-divorce can’t be justified. But what’s happened in our society is that people have extended that kind of careful justification to apply to pretty much any kind of marital relationship and that creates instability.
The impact is not good. A hundred years ago or eighty years ago, people went to their psychiatrist because they were sexually inhibited. Now they go to their psychiatrist because they can’t find any stable relationships in the world. They are troubled deeply and disturbed because there is no temporal glue in love, there is no connective tissue between past and present and future. There is no security, nothing can be assumed. Love without loyalty is not worthy of the word.