I always find this time of year with its total obsession on Black Friday sales and rampant consumerism rather disheartening and troublesome. At a time when climate change is causing natural disasters everywhere it is obscene the number of trucks, trains, planes, freighters, and various modes of transport that puff smoke into the air as goods are shipped around the world. The production and transportation, and consumption of said goods adding to the carbon imprint on our planet, and therefore adding to global warming. What will it take, I wonder, for humanity to become aware and take charge to change the damage we are doing to earth.
And then came the concept of Giving Tuesday. A day set aside to give back through a united effort to harness the resources, time, and talents of organizations and individuals to make a positive difference in our world. By doing so the small acts of kindness are magnified and enlarged. To give does not necessarily mean financial donations, but the giving we can all do no matter what our bank account balance may be. We can all be a little kinder, a little less self-absorbed.
A homeless man who is at the library where I work on a daily basis has taught me much about giving. He gives of himself every day – by making us smile and laugh at his jokes. Sometimes he brings us little gifts like candy. He is so grateful for the services we offer (and which we are being paid to offer). This man is so full of joy and life, despite his present circumstances. He helps me-remember what life is truly about – caring for one another. How he keeps his sense of humour astounds me at times. Even in the dead of winter when temperatures can plummet substantially and we each grouse about the cold and having to leave our warm homes (with full bellies), or having to clean snow off our windshields, this man braces the cold and takes a bus to the library where he regales us with stories and his views about our fellow citizens and community.He makes light of just about everything. I am so grateful for this individual.
So,today is Giving Tuesday. Let’s be a little kinder and let it serve to remind us we are not the be-all and end-all of existence, and we can make a difference.