THE ART OF GIVING
By Jane Dividio-Gagliardo
Hi everyone. I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. But this year, Thanksgiving and I suspect, the Christmas Holidays or whatever your Holiday celebrations are, will be difficult and very different in the year 2020. With the advent of all that has happened this year, I am finding instead of making a list of gifts that I would like, I’m making a list of gifts that I’m giving. And they are not going to be games or electronics. My gifts will be food and gift cards to families that are in need of the basic essentials, like food, personal hygiene products, coats, gloves, hats, etc.
During my lifetime, I have never seen or heard of more families or people in general, in such need right here in America. The Pandemic has certainly had a powerful impact on all of us, but for some even more so. As I’ve called and offered some of the basics to those in need, I’m finding that the kindness and appreciation at the other end come right through to my heart. People are appreciative of the help and helping others is, again, something that just warms my heart in ways there just aren’t words to express. Although I’m unable to actually get out and deliver or physically participate, I can’t help but feel that just a gift card from a grocery store or ham or turkey will go a long way toward helping someone in need. We all have the capability to give. Many of us get free turkeys and hams from the grocery store during the holidays that we don’t need or even allow them to go to waste. So gifting what we don’t need to someone in need is a true and awesome expression of care and concern toward our fellow human beings.
I know that in an instant I could possibly be the person in need and would certainly be appreciative of anyone who took the time, effort, and, maybe expense to extend themselves to help. There’s just something amazing in the air right now. With all the heartache going on, people seem to be more patient. More tolerant. More understanding. More appreciative. I find that more people are actually taking the time to listen better and care more about their neighbors. Many seem to be more caring and giving and it’s always a good thing when humanity begins to overshadow and outweigh inhumanity. I hope after our country gets ahead of this virus and all of the political discord that has reigned over us for months now, we never forget that not only was 2020 a very rough year, but it was a time that all of us were forced to slow down. As a result, many of us have been able to get in touch with our own selves. Face our fears and broaden our hopes. And many of us have begun to realize the beauty of getting back to the basics. We are learning that our lives are more about what we need, rather than what we want and what we can give instead of taking. We have come to the realization that this virus did not discriminate. So, it appears, that discrimination is a human thing that, along with the virus, we need to permanently eradicate. Covid doesn’t care who we perceive ourselves to be, how much money we have, what neighborhood we live in, or biases any of us may harbor. But there are several things Covid doesn’t know, we are fighters who refused to be defeated. We will rise and stand strong. We will be whole again. We will emerge better people. We will gather with grateful hearts. We will hug. We will appreciate each other so much more.
So this holiday season, consider giving what you can. And never forget what 2020… the year of Covid 19 required us do. Yeah, we were required to be, mostly, housebound for months. Some together, some alone. But we will survive and even thrive. I leave you with this quote: “Survival is my only hope. Success is my revenge.” (Patrica Cornwall)
Stay Safe. Stay Strong. Stay Fearless.