About this item

We often focus on how our gifts can help those in need. But the act of giving actually improves our own lives as well. In The Giving Way to Happiness, Jenny Santi overturns conventional thinking about what it takes to be happy by revealing how giving to others - whether in the form of money, expertise, time, or love - has helped people from all walks of life find purpose and joy. Drawing on the wisdom of great thinkers past and present, as well as cutting-edge scientific research, Santi makes an eloquent and passionate case that oftentimes the answers to the problems that haunt us, and the key to the happiness that eludes us, lie in helping those around us. This book is filled with inspiring stories told firsthand by Academy Award winner Goldie Hawn, Noble Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, supermodel Christy Turlington Burns, Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp, philanthropist Richard Rockefeller, environmentalist Philippe Cousteau, activist Ric O'Barry, bestselling author Isabel Allende, ALS survivor Augie Nieto, and many others from all over the world.



About the Author

Jenny Santi

Kids don't really walk around saying, "I want to be a philanthropy advisor when I
grow up." My journey to what I do now was not a straight line but a series of
dots that I have only recently been able to connect.

I was born in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, a very Americanized society.
Almost all the nursery rhymes I learned were in English, including my favorite,
"Fly, Fly, Fly the Butterfly." I attended Catholic school for fifteen years: eleven in
a primary and secondary school run by Augustinian friars and four in a Jesuit
university. Manila is staunchly Catholic and very traditional; if you did well in
school (which I did even though I was extremely shy) , you very well ought to be
a doctor, a lawyer, or a banker (which my parents sort of were) . My dad handled
the family businesses, a manufacturing company dealing in metals, and a rural
bank.

Our life in the Philippines was comfortable; even as middle class people, we had
drivers, cooks and maids living with us at home. But even as a child, it bothered
me that there was such a big gap between the rich and the poor. I recall being
chauffeured to school every morning, and without fail, every single day for 15
years that I was in school in the Philippines, a beggar would come knocking on
the car windows and ask for loose change while I sat in air-conditioned comfort
in the back of the car. I didn't know it at that time, but I have often referred to
that story whenever people ask me why I do what I do now.

Thanks to my mom's wanderlust fueled by her work at the Asian Development
Bank, I started traveling the world at age twelve, visiting countries including
Hong Kong, Canada and the United States, usually to visit theme parks as
rewards for my academic achievement. But I wanted to be more than a tourist;
I wanted to see what it was like to actually live in a foreign country. My dad
allowed me to study in Europe for a summer, but only on the condition that I
"never live abroad again."

Now that I think of it, that nursery rhyme set the tone for my life, a lot of which
has been about flying around. I also took up piloting small aircraft as a hobby.
By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I had broken that promise to my dad over
and over again; I lived, worked and studied in London, Singapore, Philadelphia,
New York, and rural France. I spent a year in Manila as a lecturer in my
university, briefly as a field reporter, and also--to fund my travels--a TV and
print model. I had more in common with my global community of peers, and
home truly became wherever the heart was, instead of where I was born. 0

Do you know the scene from "Gone With the Wind" when Scarlett O'Hara cr



Read Next Recommendation

Discuss with your friends


Report incorrect product information.