‘Tis the season for givers
December has to be the craziest month of the year. In Australia and New Zealand it is the signal of the start of summer, with the sun doing more work to keep beach enthusiasts and sports fitness fanatics happy.
It is when most professionals are looking to wind down their operations leading into January of the new year, before business picks up again from February onwards.
For others, it’s the time to do a bit of DIY (do-it-yourself) around the house, their car or that favourite boat they’ve been planning to take out for some fishing.
For those in retail, it is the month where the year is decided. A good December leading up to Xmas followed by Boxing Day sales means the year turned out bumper or was it a bummer. I know the feeling have served many years behind the counter and it’s long hours with a lot of running around.
But despite all these millions of reasons, the one reason why its magical is that it’s the season of giving. When strangers greet each other with a smile, when all the work rivalry is forgotten to go hunt the best gift for under $10 for your work mate (a local tradition); and when you get meet those cousins and relatives that you love the most, but rarely get to see. For many of my friends from overseas, be it Canada, USA, England or India, they get to travel to see their extended families, and it’s surely a season of connecting back with people you love.
I’m in Auckland where I get to meet my parents, stay in my family home, eat home cooked meals and catch up with friends and cousins who I have missed through the year, as I get to be here once or twice a year.
But the most important thing I believe is, it’s the season of givers.
Giving is a really important characteristic of a leader, of a lover, of a human. We are psychologically programmed to give, and to derive pleasure from the act of giving.
It’s not related to your ethnicity, your culture, your race, your religion, your income or even your location…purely on your intention to give.
The givers’ among us are those that take the extra time to go out looking for things that they remembered someone mention; or that parent that saved up over few months to buy their kids a Macbook or XBox just to see that smile. Or that neighbour that offered to cut the grass on your side in his act of kindness, or that business client that sent you a Xmas / Seasons Greetings card just to say thanks.
Let us not waste this opportunity on being selfish, but selfless. Let us take the time to reach out to friends, colleagues and well-wishers and share a coffee with a lot of smiles. Let us call each of our clients to personally wish them the best and say THANKS for your business, and your support. Let us go to old homes and orphanages and offer a few hours in service to those that feel lonely, but will appreciate your love never the less. Let us spare some money from our profits to donate to a few worthy causes that will make a little difference in the world. Let us voice our concern on corruption and disunity among people, and be the person of common sense in bringing people together.
Here’s a few reasons why this makes absolute sense?
To quote Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
1. Giving triggers certain neurological signals in our brain that light up new parts of our brain to make us feel emotions. These emotions are directly linked to increased blood activity that boosts our immune system, and replenishes old cells. It literally freshens us up from the inside.
2. Giving means you care, and when other’s know you care, they care for you. It’s not done with the intention to receive, but the results are that you will receive more than you give – a universal rule.
3. When you give, you show gratitude and express thanks. It is the most powerful action that every person must learn to do, as its directly linked to your ability to communicate, collaborate and succeed.
4. You get to make new friends or refresh old relationships, and even connect with kids in the process, which is a whole new level of kick in itself.
5. You set the tradition of giving in your household and your life, so your spouse and kids can learn from you, as you did from your parents and grandparents.
6. It’s about us, than you or me. Irrespective of all backgrounds, it’s a way of reaching out to others within your community and say, “We Care. We are One !”
7. It’s just fun and sharing happiness is a great feeling. And one must feel privileged and blessed if they are able to give, than just receive.