I don't know about you but this year it feels more important than ever to give back -- in whatever way that shows up for you, be it time, money, gifts, extra hugs.
Because I haven't had the income this year that I've had in past years, my monetary donations are smaller, but I am finding other ways to contribute. I am also learning more about receiving, something I haven't traditionally been good at, and trust, and how it's the flow of giving and receiving that really makes the world go 'round.
That lesson is showing up in a big way this week, and it's not just about holidays.
I've just learned that, after a year of waiting, I finally have a match through Big Sisters, and I'll meet my potential little sister within the next week or so. I'm trusting the meeting will go well and we can soon move forward with this new relationship.
My participation as a big sister is truly about giving and receiving. While I didn't sign up to receive, I realize I am a lucky recipient. I see now that the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of a child in this capacity will feed me in ways I hadn't previously considered -- just knowing I'm finally doing this is a gift.
I'm not a big giver of material things, either, at this stage of my life, instead opting for time, experiences or something handmade (ideally from the recent garden harvest). This also feeds my creative gene, which for me is both giving and receiving.
But now, I'm more curious than ever about what the next few weeks will bring. My birthday is just over a week away, Christmas a week beyond that, and my favorite, Solstice, in between. And now, with a little sister to spend time with, I am envisioning a year of gifts: parks and playgrounds, books and movies, coloring and crafts... and so much more.
Sadly, that's not all. The world needs all of us to be generous right now. Even the small donations contribute to our collective well-being and the world many of us would like to see. Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Planned Parenthood (which gives women access to healthcare they might not otherwise have...), to name a scant few, need us to step up.
It's these gifts that ripple outward and create more good in the world, because as we help one, we help many. While it's a big 'shouldn't be' -- in my mind -- that so many are in the line of fire from our highest office, I hope you'll consider organizations like these as you plan your giving this year.
In our differences we grow, in our sameness we connect.