Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's a hand out when you give TO somebody, but a hand up when you give FOR somebody.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday here in the U.S. It's a time that reminds us to stop and be grateful for what we have and marks the beginning of the Holiday Season. It's a time when we shift our focus to the giving to others, especially the less fortunate. While I think that's wonderful, and is far better than "nothing at all" I want to give this word of warning...

Don't give TO somebody. It might give someone a warm stomach, but it won't give them a warm heart. It won't solve their problems... and really, you're only doing it to absolve yourself; to feel better for a year of treating others like they are invisible or worse a plague on a otherwise pristine world.

Instead, as we head into this season, think about giving FOR somebody. Really focus on what THEY need. Yes, they need money. Yes they need a warm meal and a warm place to lay their head... but they also need you to SEE them. A smile, a "hello"; something to say "yes, you still matter."

They need help to help themselves. Some need medicines and social services, others need education and a chance. Compassion and respect are not "Entitlements" to be tossed aside during budget cuts. Doing that only costs US more.

So by all means, give those donations to charities, spend your day on at a food bank. It will matter.

Just don't let these acts of kindness disappear like a New Years resolution.

In January and February.... in July, when you're off to Disneyland... every day... help others. It will matter then just as much as now; maybe even more so.

But don't do it for YOU, because then it's just another way to separate you from others.

Today is Thanks GIVING... so be thankful, not just for what you HAVE, or what you'll GET next month, but for what you can GIVE... today, and every day.

Keep the light on!

1 comment:

Andrea Hylen said...

Thanks, GuruStu. I was thinking about this exact thing yesterday. You eloquently put words to my feelings. This year I decided to host 44 Grief Transformation radio shows over the holidays. Letting go of the presents, looking for ways to serve in a way to share from my heart and encourage people to feel and heal. Grieving can intensify at this time of year. The shows are recorded and available for people to listen to all year. My intention is to provide information and sharing and experience to help people dance with the grief. Blessings to you, Andrea