Want to be happier? Be a part of an organization, like Rotary!

Editors Note:  I found this story in the newspaper remarkable in similarities between friendships built in religious congregations, and friendships built in Rotary.  I bet Rotarians are happier than non-Rotarians – just like the below story discusses.
Church, not faith, leads to satisfied life: study

Two new studies show the importance of friends in keeping body — and soul — together.

A study published in the December issue of the American Sociological Review reveals religion’s “secret ingredient” that makes people happier —friendships built in religious congregations.

In their study, Religion, Social Networks and Life Satisfaction, Chaeyoon Lim and co-author Robert D. Putnam looked at the link between religiosity and happiness.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t faith or prayer that made people feel better about themselves.

Rather it was the social aspects of religion that led to greater satisfaction, says Prof. Lim, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who led the study.

“To me, the evidence substantiates that it is not really going to church and listening to sermons or praying that makes people happier, but making church-based friends and building intimate social networks there,” said Prof. Lim, calling the evidence “compelling.”

Professors Lim and Putnam, the Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, used data from the Faith Matters Study, a survey of U.S. adults conducted in 2006 and 2007.

According to Faith Matters, one-third of people who attend religious services every week, and who have three to five close friends in their congregation, said they are “extremely satisfied” with their lives.

The study defined extremely satisfied as a 10 on a scale ranging from one to 10.

In comparison, only 19% of people who attend religious services weekly, but who have no close friends in their congregation, report that they are extremely satisfied with their lives. For people who never attend religious services, and as such have no friends from their congregation, the same percentage said they are extremely satisfied.

On the other hand, 23% of people who attend religious services infrequently, but who have three to five close friends in their congregation, are extremely satisfied.

In a separate study, researcher Kylie Ball of Deakin University in Australia found that hanging out with healthy friends could be the best way to keep fit.

According to Prof. Ball, the findings suggest that healthy behaviour may be contagious.

The study, published in BioMed Central’s open access International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, surveyed 3,610 Australian women aged 18 to 46, and found physical activity and healthy eating were both strongly affected by social norms.

Women who moved in healthier circles were more likely to eat well and get more exercise.

Postmedia News

Read more: http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/12/06/church-not-faith-leads-to-satisfied-life-study/#ixzz17TqrGomE

About Kevin Hilgers

Kevin Hilgers is Rotary International District 5370 Governor for the year 2012 2013. Kevin is married to Janice McNeice. They have 2 daughters, Catherine and Karly.
This entry was posted in Support & Strengthen Clubs - Membership, Support and Strengthen Clubs - Mentorship. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Want to be happier? Be a part of an organization, like Rotary!

  1. James E. Mertes says:

    Rotary Member:
    James E. Mertes
    228 Commonwealth Dr.
    Bolingbrook, Illinois 60440
    March 31, 2012
    Club President and Officers
    Rotary Club
    1560 Sherman Ave.
    Evanston, Illinois 60201-3698
    E-mail: contact.center@Rotary.org
    Dear Sir’s
    I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little about me and then go on to the purpose of this letter.
    My name is James E. Mertes, I am 62 years old and I am from the Chicago area. I went to the Philippines in June of 2010 and have lived between Chicago and Malolos Bulacan. I was brought into the Rotary Club of Malolos by a Good friend of mine, Mr. Bobby Agustin, who is now the president of our club. I married a wonderful Filipina woman named Jackie. We have 2 kids, and enjoy life with them. So having said that it brings me to the purpose of this letter. I am always concerned about the way things are in the world and what condition we are leaving it in for our children and grandchildren. Also what we can collectively do to make it better. As Rotarians’ we can bridge most of the world together and arm our children with training that is so valuable to peace and understanding by becoming sister clubs and working together. We can all work together and share ideas and thoughts using biweekly or monthly newsletters about family fun times or helpful charity events that we can make suggestions about or learn from one another. With this interaction we can truly become united through fellowship, not just bonded by the name Rotary. We at Mololos rotary are sisters with rotary in Korea and we have an exchange program with them to send some of our students there and bring some of their students here. This is an event in a kid’s life that they will always remember and will make them more understanding of other people and cultures. It will also teach them to have very strong social skills as well as make them appreciate what they have and make them aware of the needs of others. Kids from less fortunate countries will have a better knowledge of things to do to help them strive to improve conditions in their own country. The benefits of a merger such as this would be priceless, not to mention that our next generation will make lifelong friends in other countries and keep them informed as to new events and even help them want to be world leaders as well. If you wish to become sister clubs with us and discuss this further Please contact either Mr. Bobby Agustin or myself and let’s talk and make this a reality. Thank you and we hope to hear from you real soon brothers. James E. Mertes. p.s. Please forward this to any clubs in your country that you feel may be interested. Thank you very much and I hope to be able to meet you in person someday soon.

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