And what we give

Are you busy? I’m guessing you answered yes. It seems as though our alarm clocks should say “get ready, get set, go!” and then we’re off to the races for another day after which we take a few minutes to ourselves with a book or a show and then fall into bed, only to start it all over the next day. Am I overstating? I don’t think so. For many of us our lives feel like luge runs—no braking and hanging on through the corners. We’re not out of control but we’re one misstep from shooting out of the toboggan track an into the woods.

Contradictory as it sometimes seems, the busy holiday season is when we are reminded of giving and sharing and acting out our part as a member of a larger community. So what might that look like? It might start with guilt, or a feeling similar to that, about being more fortunate than others. Maybe it could grow to beyond that to feeling sympathy and then even empathy for others, more of a we’re-all-in-this-together kind of sense.

If you’ve ever been in a position to have to accept the support of others, which can be quite humbling, then you understand that not everything goes our way all the time. It’s not a case of we’re up here looking down on those needy people. It’s more of a sense of we’re all people. We’re all trying to sort things out and sometimes we can contribute and sometimes we need a little boost.

Please take a moment to read Linda Osmundson’s feature story about volunteering. She has a list of ideas to get you started. They all require different levels of commitment and maybe one of them or something similar will jump out at you.

As cliché as it sounds, if you need cheering up, help someone. And another cliché is that we get back more than we give. I believe these have some merit.

Kristin forwarded me a post. I couldn’t track down the source, but I’d like to share it:

Buddha’s Four Noble Truths for a 4-Year-old

  • Sometimes people feel sad.
  • Sometimes the thing that makes people sad is not getting something they want or getting something they don’t want.
  • There is a way not to be so sad about not getting what you want or getting something you don’t want.
  • The way is to not think so much about what you want at all, but instead think about how you can be kind and helpful to your family, your teachers, your friends, other people, animals, bugs, and everything that lives.

Have a wonderful giving season.