When Modern Science Meets Old Wisdom

by Beatrix Wei, 7th Grade, CO

Martin Luther King Jr said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”

But many people disagree with that. They believe that living for yourself brings happiness. So they only care for themselves: their jobs, their money, their lives... However, modern science shows this belief is wrong. Psychological studies provide compelling data to support the conclusion that giving is the most powerful way to obtain lasting happiness. Using advanced technology to scan the human brain, scientists have found that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food. Helping others generates endorphins that give us the sense of deep gratification. Giving also affects your body as well as your mind. Activities like volunteering and donating increase the level of “happy hormones” in your body, making you feel profoundly satisfied. Real happiness comes from meaningful connections with other people, including your family, your friends, and your community.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. represents this idea with his life. He is remembered because of the tremendous contributions he made to the society. He sets an exemplary model of living an altruistic life that is devoted to exterminating discrimination based on racial bias and skin color. As proven by science, Martin Luther King Jr lived his life to the fullest.

There is a Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” Here, modern science has met with the old wisdom. The secret to living a happy, healthy, and meaningful life lies in what you can do for others.