As this is my last post prior to Christmas, I wanted to write about something that I believe resonates with many of us at Christmas given that everyone's lives are even busier at this time of year and sometimes "connecting" can be hard.
According to Emma M Seppala in her article "The Greatest Gift You Can Give: Yourself" (I hope you read this article) people benefit from giving by connecting with others.
Humans have a built-in need to relate, resonate, and mirror each other. In a world increasingly dependent on technology, we can lose touch with important human connections. The gift of giving of oneself increases intimacy and reduces the likelihood of loneliness.
Giving connects us in a tangible way. It makes us realise we are not alone.
Giving doesn’t have to be complicated or grand. It can be a warm smile or a gentle hug. Fifteen minutes of attentive listening can be as valuable as a one-hour massage. Listening - it's a very powerful tool but unfortunately not well utilised. Stop talking about yourself or wondering what to say next.....actually Listen. Rather than sending a text or an email which can be a cop out, pick up the phone and give some minutes of your time. I think we can all be at fault for this.
If we give from the heart, in a desire to connect, then we seize a common occasion and make it special, which is much different than if we give to a great cause out of obligation or self-importance.
You also don’t have to have a structured system of volunteering and philanthropy to enjoy the benefits of giving. It can become a habit you develop over time until it becomes an integral part of your life.
Start by paying closer attention to the people you encounter during the day. Soon you will recognise an opportunity to give. Having said that, it is nice to also spare a thought to people at Xmas who truly have far less than you. Buying a few extra groceries that cost very little and donating them to a charitable organisation can give great joy to a family in need.
May your Christmas be happy, safe, filled with love, laughter, champagne, chocolates and way too much food.
(Certain extracts from this article were taken from a post on Tiny Buddha. A gorgeous website with inspirational stories and quotes).