I was discussing with Professor Marty Seligman, who is visiting Melbourne on a project with Geelong Grammar, the link between positive/creative thinking and altruism.

seligman.jpg Professor Seligman’s research has shown there is a direct link. In other words, that positive, optimistic thinkers are more inclined to help others and be altruistic than pessimistic thinkers.

I suggested the parable of the Good Samaritan would be better called The Happy Samaritan. ‘Good’ is merely a judgement while ‘happy’ is an insight. Marty said, “Why don’t you write that up?”. So, I did.

Visit his site and take his Signature Strengths Test–it’s excellent.

6 thoughts on “The Happy Samaritan

  1. I’m in absolute, total agreement. I wonder if positive thinking leads to good inter-personal communication skills which don’t dwell on self but see how inter-reliance benefits all.

  2. Positive & optimistic thinkers see viral benifits of spreading the love, whereas the pesimist only loves and cares for oneself

  3. If you are a depressive ie. a glass half empty thinker your depression turns you inward, you are concerned with self, fragile ego, image and sometimes a persecution complex; the pessimistic thinker doed not have time for altruism,

  4. I agree whole heartedly!! Altruistic, happy / optimists focus on the good aspects of others, albeit they are generally not naive either.

    That “person” sees this property in people and knows it could be extracted just as high hanging fruit may be extracted ….. hence; its just a matter of time and conditions of achieving it.

  5. I have used laughter and jokes (where appropriate) for many years to help resolve my clients, and to give them a different perspective on life.

  6. It is cent percent true that positive thinkers are altruists. Samaritans are happy always because when they have concern for others they are intrinsically happy which is a great motivation. Me, as a teacher during my tenure felt it very much. congrats.

    P. Vijayachandran

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