In ako classes, we are always trying to promote altruism because it is scientifically proven to improve wellbeing.
"Many studies point to the possible positive consequences of generosity for the giver. Giving social support—time, effort, or goods—is associated with better overall health in older adults, and volunteering is associated with delayed mortality.Generosity appears to have especially strong associations with psychological health and well-being. For example, a meta-analysis of 37 studies of older adults found that those who volunteered reported greater quality of life; another study found that frequent helpers reported feeling greater vitality and self-esteem (but only if they chose to help of their own accord).
Other studies have shown a link between generosity and happiness. Some studies have found that people are happier when spending money on others than on themselves, and this happiness motivates them to be generous in the future. And even small acts of kindness, like picking up something someone else has dropped, make people feel happy.
Generosity is also associated with benefits in the workplace, such as reducing the likelihood of job burnout, and in relationships, where it is associated with more contentment and longer-lasting romantic relationships."
This excerpt is from a white paper prepared for the John Templeton Foundation
by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, May 2018 - 'The Science of Generosity'