The holiday season always fosters a spirit of giving. This is the time of year when we see the Salvation Army folks standing outside of stores with their ringing bells asking for donations. We hear about toy and jacket drives to give to those less fortunate so that they too can have a nice Christmas. Soup kitchens are working harder, homeless shelters are taking in a greater number of people, and believe it or not social service organizations she an increase in numbers of people they serve at this time of year. Just thinking of this makes me wonder what would happen if we let this season of giving extend throughout the year. If we did, I think it may take us back to a day and time where we truly did love our neighbor as we actually knew our neighbors and helped our neighbors. It makes me think back to my childhood and how neighborhoods would really pull together to help one another. It reminds me of Civil Rights Movement and how strangers, black, white, etc…. worked together hand in hand to fight against injustice. It also makes me wonder how we have gone from being a community to now living in isolation in today’s society. We have gone from looking out for each other to only looking out for self. Christmas on the other hand is the only time of year when we are really pushed to think beyond seclusion and instead look at inclusion. It actually touches my heart that despite the fact that so many of us are struggling with job loss and other economic issues due to the state of financial market, giving has not gotten lost at this time of year as we all are still finding a way to help the less fortunate. Giving to others in need reminds us that our problems are smaller than someone else’s problems, that our issues are not as big as they seem. So why not bless others each day with extending our giving thorough out the year. So as we celebrate this season of giving, I want to challenge all of us (including me) to think about how we can extend this feeling throughout the year and give 24/7, 365 instead of just 30 days around the holidays.
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.” ~Jesse Jackson