Speaker discusses the scientific benefits of volunteering

Nicole Stempak

Stephen Post, author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People spoke to Kent State students and faculty members in the Kiva last night about the benefits of volunteering. TRACY TUCHOLSKI | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

There’s an old adage that says money can’t buy happiness. Well, not if Stephen Post has anything to say about it.

“You can buy happiness,” he said. “You know how? By giving your money to other people.”

Post cited a recent study by Science Magazine that found people are happier when they spend money on others than when they spend it on themselves.

Post spoke to an audience of more than 125 people about the scientific benefits of volunteering last night in the Kiva. His most recent book, Why Good Things Happen to Good People, explores the correlation between doing good and living longer.

“This is not to talk about reciprocal gains or notoriety for your generosity,” he said. “It’s simply to say by being engaged in the emotional energy of love, of giving, of kindness, we’ll do better than would otherwise be the case.”

Post concluded his speech by reaffirming “It’s good to be good, and science says it’s so.”

“Sincere actions done to benefit others create an emotional shift that seems to contribute to happiness, health and even longevity,” he said. “If you look at the science, which is statistical, you’re going to live a better and longer life if you’re generous.”

Event organizer Megan Odell-Scott said the event went better than expected.

“I think a lot of people got a lot of good info out of it, and it was meaningful,” Odell-Scott said.

Sarah Snyder, a freshman business major at Mount Union College, said Post’s ideas were “very positive and uplifting.”

“I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and his speech got me more excited about volunteering,” she said.

Katie Kasunic, a freshman sports management major at Mount Union College, said she was curious to see how volunteering could improve her health.

“He proved his credibility through researched facts, and his points gave me incentives to continue my endeavors as a volunteer,” she said.

Contact general assignment reporter Nicole Stempak at