Thought of the Week: Give All Year Round

It is a special time of year. Streets are luminously decorated. Houses are beautifully arranged with Christmas trees covered in ornaments and tinsel. Malls and shopping centers are brimming with people purchasing the latest gadget and device.
The anticipation of the holiday season is magical. There is no other time of year like it. It is a time for renewal and personal transformation. It is a time to give to others and share what we have with those who might need it more than we do. It is truly what the holiday spirit is all about.
It is fun to buy gifts for our family and friends. There is no better feeling than to know you have brightened up someone’s day by simply giving. No matter how big or small, the act of giving is paramount to not only enjoying a wonderful holiday season, but also to experiencing a fulfilling life.
According to Jason Marsh and Jill Suttie, in their article entitled 5 Ways Giving Is Good for You, giving not only makes us feel happy but it also benefits our health, promotes cooperation and social connection, conjures feelings of gratitude, and the more we give the more others are likely to give as well (Greater Good Science Center, 2010).
There have been plenty of studies to support the long-lasting benefits of giving. It is easy to give and buy gifts for our loved ones especially during this time of year. But can we continue this generosity throughout the entire year and not just during the holidays?
And what about giving to others? What about donating to charities where we will never even see how our gifts influence the people who receive them? What about giving not only our money and financial resources but also our time and effort? These are all ways we give throughout the entire year, not just during this time of the year.
The goal is for all of us to give as much as we can as often as we can. Imagine a world in which everyone is giving to others not because of what we will receive in return. No. We give because it benefits us as much, if not more, than the one who is receiving our gifts. Giving doesn’t require loads of money or time. It requires selflessness and the realization that the gifts we give have a profound impact on others and therefore, the world.

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