Kindness for December?

Jan. 8, 2016

That immensely gratifying feeling of euphoria hangs high in the air throughout the season of giving. December is a month when everyone prepares for their religious celebrations, the consumption of a coma inducing amount of food, the purchases of copious gifts for loved ones, ample amounts of freshly baked goods baking in the oven, and smiles everywhere people turn.

This image paints a satisfying scene in your mind, yet one might wonder why December is the only time that even the people with the seemingly coldest hearts give to people who are less fortunate.

Throughout the year it is a common notion that you should donate and give back to the community, the planet, and other individuals. But why is it that you see more people visiting hospitals, shelters, donation centers, and other places during the holidays as opposed to year round?

Do we help others because it places us in a better position from the social hierarchy standpoint? Or do we help others because in the deepest level of ourselves we understand that it’s the right thing to do? Lending others a hand should be a concept that we do everyday or whenever we can.

What happens for homeless people, hospitalized children, starving families, orphan children and teens, throughout the rest of the year? Do they only receive clothes, books, food, love, and attention during the time of year when giving to others is the social norm? According to National Philanthropic Trust, only 2.1 % of gross domestic profit was given to charitable organizations as of 2014. These are questions that should be posed to us as ordinary people every day of our lives as we recognize what we already have instead of what we don’t have or what we want but don’t really need.

Of course, many people donate, volunteer, and give their time to helping others everyday. But why is there a rise in the spirit of our hearts during seasonal times and not just everyday? Why is the vibration of love and kindness so high throughout specific times of the year but not all of the time during the year? As an individual playing along with the game of life, there is a great deal of suffering some people might endure as well as pain and sorrow. There might be people in someone’s life who make a profound difference by lending a helping hand. It is a perfect example of how as a community, as a society, as a nation, and especially as a single person we can help. Organizations like The Humane Society, The Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, Nature Conservancy, and Feeding America are all in need throughout the year of donations and volunteers.

Helping others during certain times of the year is only partly beneficial, but greatly appreciated. Yet helping others everyday or whenever you can truly creates a positive impact in someone’s life. So why do some people wait until Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever religious celebration one might take part in, instead of helping others now? Why don’t we have a full understanding that our “needs” are the same but our “wants” are different from other peoples, and that if we can help others obtain what they “need” then we can be one step closer to a better world.

Basic human necessities in life include food, water, shelter, and love. Not everyone has these four elements in his or her life and for those that do, oftentimes they have trouble realizing that they don’t understand what they have until it’s simply gone. Every human wants to be loved and every human has the capacity to love with their entire heart; every human needs food and water to survive and every human needs a shelter for protection.
It’s simply so easy to forget that everyone in the world is different from ourselves and some might be struggling for food or paying their rent. It’s easy to only think about ourselves but when we put others before us and give to those who need a helping hand it creates the sense of humbleness and compassion and waters the seed of kindness that is deep within all of our hearts.