FeelGooder Asks: What Did You Give This Week?

Giving makes us feel good. While altruism is largely regarded as being at odds with the basic theory of evolution, anyone who’s ever given help knows that it feels good.

What did you give this week?

I gave help to a man stranded in his car on a country road with two young sons.

Where I live, if you see someone standing beside their car, you stop and ask what’s up. This guy was at the crossroads of a major road, but no one seemed to have stopped.

Out here, no one can hear you run out of fuel.

So I wound down my window and asked what was wrong. He was out of petrol. My car was on diesel. Did he have a phone to call someone? No.

I pulled over and we talked. He had a long way to drive, and it was already mid-afternoon. I tried calling my friend to see if he had a jerry can of fuel, but to no avail. In the end, the driver borrowed my phone to call the national motorist-assist service. I told them where he was—though he was only about 50km from home, he didn’t know the roads—and they said they’d be about an hour.

I was so sorry I couldn’t have helped him with fuel—an hour’s wait is a long time—but he waved my apology away.

“Out of 30 or 40 cars that have passed,” he said, “you’re the only one who stopped.”

This was no big deal: it took about five minutes out of a sunny Sunday afternoon. Though I couldn’t help him more, I was glad I’d stopped. I didn’t exactly see it as optional—I saw it as natural. Who, I thought, wouldn’t stop for a stranded driver? I was also glad I’d met him. Being able to help someone—whether it’s someone you know, or someone you don’t—is extremely fulfilling.

That’s what I gave this week: five minutes of my time and a phone call. But it left me feeling pretty good about the world. What about you? Tell us what you’ve given in the comments.

About georgina

Georgina is a professional writer and editor, and Content Manager for FeelGooder.


  1. Fantastic! Good for you for stopping to help this stranded driver and his two little ones. Thirty to forty cars passed without stopping? Goodness.

    As for what I gave this week, I gave away large baby items: one to an expectant mom friend, and one to a friend with a newborn. Specifically, I gave away a double stroller and a high chair, both in very good condition. Although my husband and I are not exactly rolling in money, I had no inclination to sell these items, as I steer clear of mixing money and friends, anyway. My friends expressed such gratitude for the much-needed items, and I think they appreciated the gesture more than the actual things. That made me even happier to have passed these things along.

    Have a lovely weekend.

    • I think the idea of 30-40 people passing is pretty messed up, too. But it’s a classic case of “somebody else’s problem” syndrome. Everyone figures somebody else will handle the mess until nobody ever does.

      It’s amazing how often this comes up in both every day and extenuating circumstances.

      I guess nobody wants to be a hero.

    • Hey Janette, interesting story. Big gifts like this are often the most surprising for the recipient — they’ll ask “are you sure we can’t give you any money for it?” And it’s so freeing to say “no, just use it.” I builds real gratitude — on both sides of the equation!

  2. That’s so kind of you Georgina. As Wanda Urbanska, simple living expert says, “Nothing is too small to make a difference”

  3. I loved your story, and it’s so true that giving makes us feel good. I gave $5 to a stranger who was holding up a sign asking for money when I was stopped at a traffic light. Some people have told me I shouldn’t do that, because it’s sometimes just a scam to get motorists to give money to people pretending to be in need. But my thought has always been: I’d rather give money to someone who doesn’t really need it, than not give it to someone who does. Thanks for your inspirational story, Georgina.

  4. Great to hear that you could be of service Georgina. I look for opportunities to be of service to others whenever I can.

    The other day I was in the Home Depot home improvement store when a lady approached me asking if I knew where some sand for landscaping was. I walked around the garden section until we found it and I even helped her decide what kind would be the best for her project.

    Not to mention all of the free help I give when people contact me through my blog.

  5. Giving in any form certainly makes you feel good about yourself Georgina!

    I love the way you state

    I didn’t exactly see it as optional—I saw it as natural. Who, I thought, wouldn’t stop for a stranded driver?

    helping someone in obvious need should be seen as natural! I’ve just volunteered 5 weeks of my time to go and facilitate groups for a charity in Thailand, after devising the most effective way I could give back.

    Giving back is part of being human, and we should all take the time to figure out how we can achieve this! 🙂

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