It’s that time of year when most of us are wondering what “special” gift to buy for family, friends, co-workers, and hopefully, maybe even our postal delivery person, grocery clerk, or an anonymous person. Yet think about how most gifts we’ve received over the years of our lives are not even in our visual perception today. Where did all those maybe hundreds to thousands of gifts go? And if most of us continue to be fortunate, we have many years ahead to collect more “stuff”.
If we contemplate Kahlil Gibran’s thought of when we give of ourselves that is when we truly give, provides insight into what even research suggests about giving. When giving selflessly, unconditionally, and open-heartedly, we reduce risks for depression, anxiety, and dying early as well as reducing inflammatory processes, decrease blood pressure, and enhance our overall sense of well-being. This certainly seems intuitive and most likely, why we do favor the act of gift giving.
But maybe, just maybe, we can make a radical move away from consumerism and giving material items and shift into giving of ourselves through our presence of time, through volunteering, sharing a poem or writing, through touch, through kind words, or even an extended time of love making.
In my good fortune, my two sons have requested no gifts to themselves, but to donate to a charity as well as being with the homeless on Christmas. We have practiced charity on some holidays and the memories we talk about that give us the greatest sense of feeling alive are those holidays.
May you all experience the essence of unconditional giving and spread it near and far. All beings on this planet are in need of our helping hands. May you all have deep happiness and it’s causes. And giving is a cause that generates a beautiful effect. Merry Christmas.
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month, get married.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime...help someone else. -Chinese Proverb