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People Need People

What can you do to help others?

I know Christmas this year will be difficult for many people. There are those who are experiencing food insecurities or are on the verge of losing their jobs, businesses, and homes, and my heart goes out to them. When I hear of people winning a high bid for a project contract or making ridiculously expensive purchases, I often think how great it would be for them to use some of their funds to lessen another’s burden. Of course, there are affluent persons and companies that do contribute millions to end these inequities, and you and I make donations with our limited resources. However, we need everyone to step up to the plate a bit more to move the needle in the right direction.

Then, there are some people who believe they have made it on their own. They are financially secure and have no empathy for others less fortunate, but we humans are designed for community. They ought to surround themselves by giving people whose generous spirit will rub off on them. The saying “show me your company and I’ll tell you who you are” is so true as who you spend your time with influences you and your actions. Someone once stated that the more we give to others, the more we get from the universe. Your relative happiness will come from material things, but genuine satisfaction will come from sharing your gifts.

Now, you may be thinking, “It’s all well and good to give, but what can I do if I don’t have the funds?” While financial gifts are vital, in some situations a simple random act of kindness is all that’s needed. You may have heard of the man who committed suicide previously leaving a note in his apartment that said he would not jump from the Golden Gate Bridge if, on the way to the bridge, he met one person who smiled at him…such a simple gesture. Easy ways to show you care, and lighten someone’s day, can include being a good listener, letting someone go ahead of you in a line, cooking a dish and delivering it to someone, indulging someone with an unexpected treat, and thanking people you encounter for the smallest act of service they perform. Every action involves another person.

A few weeks ago, I telephoned a friend whom I hadn’t spoken to in a while. After we hung up, she sent me a text that reads in part, “I’m in the midst of cutting my greens and your laughter is still lingering in my head. I’m smiling because it reminds me of how I love to hear you laugh. Your smile and laughter, among other things, are what I like about you and the personality that goes with it; just felt that I needed to tell you that…now back to my greens.” As you can imagine, this warmed my heart and I share her message to show that it doesn’t take a lot to show your appreciation.

So, don’t be the Christmas Grinch. Instead, let’s be grateful for all that we have and give of our time, money, skills, or other resources. As we open our hearts to others and the joy of giving, we will be thrilled to witness their delight and gratitude. People, we need one another!

Best wishes for a safe and healthy Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa!


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