What a wonderful tradition we have just celebrated; the giving of thanks for the blessings we enjoy. Being reminded of the things and people who are important, the events that have happened and the ways in which we matter to others and in the world allows us to appreciate the richness of our lives.
Now it is time to pass that on to others who are less fortunate than we are. We are challenged to give of: our time, our talent, our gifts and our treasures; fortunately not all at the same time! In the current economy, most charities’ gifts are down but amazingly 1 in 4 people still gave of their time in the past year in order to help someone else!
One of the greatest benefits to helping others is the by-products of health and happiness that we reap in return. Research out of the University of Pennsylvania shows that people who volunteer their time and talent for others, live longer, have higher mental acuity and lower rates of depression and have a stronger feeling of over-all connectedness than do those who don’t choose to volunteer.
The upcoming season can overwhelm us if it becomes all about the getting and giving of stuff! Maybe instead of spending time gathering stuff for the people who are precious to us, this year we choose to share our precious time with them and get together to help someone else.