As I sit here on Black Friday deluged with ads, I feel a bit sad for our world.
Not because I don’t like to shop; rather, it’s because the race towards Christmas, now that Thanksgiving is done, is so focused on acquiring material goods.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always liked the joy that finding just the right present for another person brings, and I have certainly enjoyed being on the receiving end of gift giving too.
I have a confession–most of the time I don’t watch the news.
I just can’t take it, to be honest.
The negativity in the world is overwhelming to me. Perhaps I’m just an extra sensitive person, but I find it difficult to distance myself from the pain the world is in, the sensationalism of everything gone wrong.
So, for me, as I contemplate the state the world is in, the uncertainty of so many things, and the future facing my family and my children, I am finding that, increasingly, the focus on giving is important.
Giving is my way of making the world a better place.
With all the craziness, negativity and inequity in the world, giving is a way that we can all “right the wrongs” and spread love to others. The human spirit prevails; love abounds, and is, when spread, unlimited in scale and in the possibility of what it can do.
The people who give are truly the ones who receive the most. They receive the benefit of knowing that they have done something to make the world better. That they are leaving the world better than they found it.
I know we all give in our own ways. On a daily basis to our children and schools; on a regular basis to our clients and our families. And at holiday time, to our friends and loved ones.
I remember when I was a kid, my parents dropped off a bag of groceries at Christmas for a needy family. It really made an impression on me, that other people didn’t have the same luxuries we had, and didn’t have the means to celebrate Christmas.
I also have a vivid memory of working at a corporation and coming in one day to find a Christmas tree in the lobby with paper ornaments on it, with each ornament having a name of a child and the toy they really wanted for Christmas. That really touched me, and I remember the joy that it gave me to go out and purchase the present for that 7 yr. old boy that year.
I don’t remember many of the presents I’ve given or received over the years, but those two memories are seared in my brain.
They planted the seed of empathy and compassion for others that has served me so well in my life, in my career choices and also my life decisions. Those lessons are ones I want my children to learn as well. I feel it is my responsibility as their parent to help them discover the importance of giving back, and how that is the way to spread love and make the world whole again.
Note: Today, as I post this, it’s Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday), so this post couldn’t have been timed any better. If you are in the philanthropic mood, consider donating to the upcoming Jammie Party by clicking on the image above. It’s a great cause!