Do it ‘til it feels good

I love this time of year. Do you? It’s just … happy. Cheerful. Full of hope and good will. The lights are beautiful; the music is beautiful, and people just seem, I don’t know, a little kinder.

As I’ve grown older (or better, as we say), I’m thankful that I see Christmastime as something so much bigger, deeper, and more profound than I did as a young girl. I suppose that’s normal, but I also have to believe that my attitude has changed because my Belief has changed. You see, I was not brought up in a home of faith. My parents did not teach my siblings and me about faith.

I don’t – can’t –  blame them of course. They simply didn’t have belief and faith themselves, and you can’t share what you don’t have. There have been many times over the years, I assure you, that I wished I had grown up in a home at which faith was the center. My many trips around the sun have taught me that, at the very end of the day, that is what matters. In fact, it’s all that matters, because the highest good in everything else – family, marriage, relationships, careers – springs from faith. 

At any rate, I’m thankful that certain people and situations in my life have guided me to that life of faith for which I always yearned. I vowed many years ago not to waste it, to make it part of whatever legacy I might leave on this huge spinning rock we call home.

To that end, I have found that giving, that helping others, loving one another, are why we’re here. To improve someone’s life, someone’s circumstances, even someone’s day, makes mine infinitely better. You might be rolling your eyes. In fact you probably are, if you’ve never had this experience. I urge you to try it.

For myself, I’ve found that looking for opportunities to help children, the elderly and animals is my “do-good sweet spot.” These are my passions throughout the year, so I suppose it just makes sense to look for ways to help these people and creatures I love even more when I see opportunities at Christmas.

I do not share this delicious secret in order to pat myself on the back, or to solicit “atta girls” from others, because telling people that you give to others negates the good of the entire thing. In fact, I debated whether to write about this topic at all today, for that very reason. 

But I share it because it is so very delicious. The ability to help another human being, or a loyal, helpless creature who just wants to love and be loved, makes ME rich. Do you understand that? That ability fills MY soul. Helping another brings me into a closer walk with my Maker, with the reason I’m here at all, and isn’t that where we all want to be? 

Do yourself a favor. Find an opportunity, as many as you can, to do something good for someone else in need. Sure, it’s very nice to buy the guy in line behind you an $8.00 cup of coffee. How much nicer and more meaningful would it be to buy a coat, or clothing, pajamas or a toy, for a child in need? How about taking a box of food items to a food bank near you? I assure you, the need is great no matter where you live. Maybe you would consider spending time with an elderly person who’s been hidden away in a nursing home, sitting alone day after day waiting for family that will never come. Or if you simply can’t think of a single idea, walk inside any church and ask what they’re doing for those in need in your community. I promise you, there is a need that you can answer.

Yes, you’ll help someone. But you’ll be the one who’s richer for it.

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