Giving Back on the Holidays and Always


We should be appreciative of everyone that surrounds us in our lives. We should be thankful for the people that love us, care for us, are good to us, and choose to be a part of our lives. As well, we should appreciate the things that we have in life. And we need to make sure that we don’t take the people or the things that we have in life for granted, and we can do so, by showing our appreciation, and giving back. But not only on the holidays, but every single day, and throughout our lives. 

Giving back shouldn’t be something that we only do on holidays or special occasions. It’s important to be a good person all of the time, and not merely on the holidays. Many times, people want to give back a little extra on the holidays, because they feel that the holiday season is a time like any other special occasion that one can give back, and spread love and kindness. Now, although there’s a lot of truth to that, we should be giving back all of the time.

There’s always a good reason to show our love and appreciation to others. These are things that we should be doing every single day. We should always and continuously strive towards being a better person. If we all focus on being the best versions of ourselves, striving towards enlightenment, and giving back and showing appreciation throughout the year, and not merely on the holidays or special occasions, life will be even more beautiful. 

One thing that’s important to remember when giving back, is that usually, it’s not really about the amount that you give back, but more so, the way that you give back. This is actually very similar to putting effort and love into relationships and doing things for your partners. When you put effort and love into things, it’s never about the price that something costs, the name brand something is, or even how amazing what you do is. It’s more so about how much thought you put into it, the selflessness, and the love and kindness that you showed when doing the action. This is important to remember on the holidays, because sometimes when we give back, we do so, but without smiling and spreading kindness through our eyes, our words, and our hearts. 

Giving back is one of the most selfless and loving acts as it is. But when you give back without hoping to gain anything in return, it’s even more of a selfless act. And to my Jewish readers, in case you didn’t know, it’s a double-mitzvah (twice as much of a good deed). We should never have motives for doing kind things, and that includes expecting some type of reward or praise for our actions.

There are many ways that we can give back in life, and many times they can be anything like the words of encouragement, being supportive, or making the time to spend with your loved ones or strangers even. Don’t assume that the world is waiting for a handout, but instead, look at every person as an individual, regardless of their appearance or financial status. We all need to remember that we were all created in the image of God. We shouldn’t judge others based on how they look, and definitely not by how much money they have in the bank.

When it comes to people that say that they’re going to be a better person on “The New Year,” I have a little thought that I’d like to share. Now, you might’ve already heard this, or perhaps thought this yourself at some point, so if that’s the case, just use this as a little refresher. Every single day, we have a chance to start anew. We have a choice to be a better version of ourselves every single time that we wake up and get out of bed each morning. Sure, nothing is wrong with using holidays and special occasions to make new and positive changes. Of course not! But having said that, you shouldn’t feel such desire to wait for a holiday to make improvements or positive changes. The only reason to make positive changes is really because you want to improve. And whether you want to improve on yourself by being healthier, a better person, or even by giving back more, you don’t need to wait for a holiday to do so. 

Last but not least, one truly kindhearted and loving way of giving back is to include others that don’t have a lot of friends or family to spend the holiday season with. Ponder for a moment, and remember all of those people that are alone in your lives. Invite them, include them, and make them feel loved this holiday season, and always. Many times, people are single or alone for the holidays, and they merely wish to be included and to be treated as if they’re important in life. So, let me tell you something, they’re important just as much is you, your friends, and your family are. Treat them in such a way, and try to include them.

It never hurts to try to include others around you, even if they decline your invitation. All I can say is, if you know that someone is truly alone and needs a friend or some company on the holidays, reach out to them. Do your best to include them, and even insist if you have to. There’s a reason that they say, “the more the merrier.” Wishing everyone a beautiful and glorious holiday season, with many blessings to come from it. I wish you all love and peace. And I hope that some of what I said you can absorb, and take with you on a daily basis, and not merely on the holidays. 

Anne Cohen
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