As winter comes upon us, the need to come together as community, as family, as humanity is stronger than ever. The nights grow long, the days are too short, and the ever-present cold is unnerving. In this season, we need to come together to share what we have, to share the warmth of our hearth fires, and to protect each other. Because if we don't, the harshness of winter can literally kill us, both in body and in spirit.
Instead of griping about the consumerism and the crassness of the holiday, I invite you to extend your generosity of time and effort to people who need you. Do what you can, when you can.
- If you see someone in distress, ignore your first impulse to not get involved and go see what you can do to help. No gesture is too small.
- If you see someone stuck in the snow, go help them out, even if it makes you late for something.
- Whenever you can, look people in the eyes, shake their hands, and wish them a happy holiday. And mean it.
- Donate your time, your talents, and if you can afford it, your funds to charities that support people in need, either locally or abroad.
If you do all these things already, do it more.
And if you have the good fortune of being the recipient of someone else's generosity, be gracious, modest, and appreciative. Also, take the time to mark this moment as a happy memory. It will change how you relate to this time of year.
The darkness at this time of year can be deceiving. It fools us into thinking we are alone and that there is no one else out there in the darkness. But the truth is that when you share your light with others, you end up with more light, revealing all the people who are there with you, who have been with you that whole time. It's easy to forget that, but I'm reminding that it's true. You are not alone.
I wish you all a memorable, safe, loving, generous holiday season. All of us are looking forward to your generosity of spirit.