Love signals real



 In this Age of Metaphor, love will be the signal of real. One of the ways we will know when a thing has passed from “as-if” to “is” is when it earns unalloyed love from humans. Kevin Kelly, As If

In the developed world we are increasingly trading in intangibles. Think of love marks, brands with which we develop a relationship that is intimate, personal and authentic.

And when we love, we give. It turns out that generosity is an intangible value which can have real impact on a company’s revenue stream. Baruch Lev has found consistent evidence that for firms in industries that are highly sensitive to consumer perception, corporate giving is associated with subsequent sales growth.

And it’s healthy:

“Doing good makes us feel good. Altruism enhances our self-esteem. It gets our eyes off ourselves, makes us less self-preoccupied, gets us closer to the unself-consciousness that characterizes the flow state”  (1).

In other words, caring for others creates a psychological momentum and a sense of self-competence that makes us happier.  Brown argues that giving buffers stress, and involves complex hormones, such as oxytoxin and vasopressin, as well as a brain-emotion-immune nexus.

The evidence is quite consistent that altruism, so long as it is not experienced as overwhelming, is associated with happiness, psychological and mental health, better self-rated physical health and functioning, and (on average) longer life, after adjusting for the standard set of potential confounding variables. (Stephen G. Post, It’s Good To Be Good)

(1) Brown, S., Nesse, R.M., Vonokur, A.D., & Smith, D.M. (2003). Providing social support may be more beneficial than receiving it: Results from a prospective study of mortality. Psychological Science, 14(4), 320-32


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