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  • The gift that bounces back

    Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give”.

    It’s too bad that all the generosity that abounds this time of year is only a seasonal phenomenon.

    I speak here not so much of gift giving to family and friends that is mostly a commercial event, but of kindness, in the form of charitable giving and voluntarism, that seems to coincide with Christmas.

    Imagine how much better a place this would be if we (collectively) were as kindly to others in need on a year-round basis.

    The benefits that accrue to benefactors of good works are numerous and tangible.

    Numerous studies have shown that when we reach out to others, we receive a nice infusion of serotonin, a neurotransmitter,that can lift our mood in a minute. Moreover, our immune system receives a boost that helps us ward off pesky things like colds and flu.

    But we don’t need the research to prove such things. We know it in our head. We feel it in our heart.

    When we take something of value (money, clothes, time) and give it away –

    we experience a sense of greater connectedness to a larger whole.

    It’s liberating and it happens to be highly energizing as well.

    As Charles Dudley Warner once observed, “No one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself”.

    May you and your loved ones experience a peaceful and satisfying holiday season, made all the richer by all having given so much of yourself to others.


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