It’s that time of year that almost every person thinks about giving. The one time of year when the world is bathed in a glow of love and compassion.
Our family has always been big on gift giving with each other. We love to share our love.
And every Christmas morning, we take the time to watch each person unwrap their gift and share in their joy before the next gift is given out from under the tree.
There is joy in giving (as well as receiving).
But I ask the question “Why does this attitude of giving only abound at one time of the year”?
I had a discussion with the Teen the other day when I dared to question the motives of Sir Bob and his latest “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” song offering. I queried why he went to the trouble of organising all these high profile singers to come to a recording studio to sing a re-worked version of a song from the ’80’s when he could have just asked all his recording buddies to dip into their bank accounts and write out a cheque for the cause? Am I just being cynical that this was more about putting himself (and others) in the public eye once more rather than actually raising money for the Ebola crisis?
Don’t get me wrong. I am so very pleased that money is finding its way to this cause through the sales of the recording but why should giving be only limited to this time of year (and for the life of the radio airplay the song receives) and why in such a high profile way?
There are many charities that rely on large appeals at this time of year when people are feeling at their most charitable. I’m not questioning the motives of the charities that run their appeals at this time because they have obviously recognised that this time of year is the best for fundraising. I am questioning why the vast majority of people only feel compelled to donate either at Christmas or right before the end of the tax year so that their donation can be classed as a tax deduction?
My thoughts are that giving should be a year-round thing. For when we give of our time, money or resources we give a part of ourselves. And in giving this part of ourselves, the blessings we receive return hundred fold.
There are so many ‘home-grown’ charities that are born when ordinary people see a need and then step in to fill it.
In the past couple of years I have discovered charities such as Angel Gowns for Angel Babies and Angels for the Forgotten. Both of these sprang up when a need was recognised and both are run purely by volunteers.
My friend Tric in her post “What kind of person are you”? also speaks about a person who became a ‘doer’ rather than a ‘talker’ and began giving to others in her home country of Ireland.
The people who started these charitable groups realised that giving needs to occur year round because people don’t only need assistance at this time of the year.
A couple of months ago I blogged the story I read in Anthony Robbins’ book about the man who delivered a Thanksgiving feast to his family when he was a child. Someone had seen a need and taken the time to fulfill that need. This inspired him so much that he made a vow to one day do the same thing for another family in need.
Anthony Robbins then went on to establish what is now known as The Basket Brigade that delivers food to an estimated 2 million families each year.
From little things, big things grow.
Tony Robbins teaches in his books that through giving we grow within ourselves. By developing a giving nature we not only bless others, but bless ourselves also. I am inclined to agree with him. Service to others requires us to put aside our ego for a short while and that is not a bad thing at all.
So at this time of year, I acknowledge the good works and giving that takes place throughout the world but wish to challenge everyone to keep that giving spirit with them throughout the coming year.
Giving doesn’t have to be monetary. Even those with nothing are able to give.
Sometimes all that is required is to gift someone with a smile.
It only takes one person to make a difference to the life of another.
So to use the words of Tric, are you a ‘doer’ or a ‘talker’?