‘Tis the season.
‘Tis the season for giving.
‘Tis the season for receiving.
‘Tis the season for peace on earth and goodwill towards men ….yada yada yada.
It’s that magical time of the year when many peoples’ hearts are filled with Christmas cheer. The lights twinkle a little brighter, chocolate taste a little sweeter, and the needs of others becomes a little more important than our own.
There’s been a slow but sudden shift in the “goodwill towards men” in recent years. Perhaps it’s thanks to the sprawling reach of the inter-web or our collective yet insatiable quest for Insta fame – but the act of giving has slowly transformed into the act of “Watch me give”.
“Giving with selfies” has replaced “giving with selflessness”. The sincerity of kindness has been trumped by the glamour of giving.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many good people out there who continue to give and help from a place of genuine compassion. The trend of Paying it Forward, however, can sometimes go very, very backwards. Often, we don’t even realize we are doing it. It’s a simple miscommunication.
Here’s a little list of dos and don’ts to make sure your heartfelt pay it forward doesn’t go backwards.
The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Giving
DO recognize the need.
Empathy is a superpower many people don’t realize they have. Recognizing someone else’s need despite your own needs speaks volumes of your compassion and character. Recognize the need and do your best to fill it.
DON’T make people justify their need to cater to your act of kindness.
You see it all the time on social media: “free frozen turkey for someone who TRULY needs it” or “free toy truck for a child that is REALLY in need”. Don’t ask people to evaluate their need or compare it to someone else’s need in order to be worthy of you or your gift. Give to simply give.
DO give from a place of gratitude and abundance.
Be thankful you are in a position of giving. Expect nothing in return.
DON’T cast judgement.
This goes for online and off. People need a helping hand for a myriad of untold reasons.
Don’t be so quick to judge others needs based on their car, their position, their family dynamics. Keep your opinions and comments humble. The person you are in the comment section speaks more of your character than the amount of canned goods you donate to a food drive. You never quite know when you’ll become one of “those people” you speak down on.
DO remember your act of giving and kindness is a direct representation of YOUR character.
What the recipient does with your gift is a direct representation of theirs. You are only in control to the ends of your fingertips.
Giving and helping others is both the deed AND the reward. Open your heart to a lifetime of seasons of selfless giving and you just may change your perspective and change your life.