Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Give In To The Impulse

Toys for toddlers; food for the hungry; blankets for those who are cold. This is the time of year that many feel the impulse to give – financially and with our time and talents. This giving is encouraged by society and resonates with our natural and instinctive charitable impulses.

There are critics who proffer that increased giving during this time is self-centered and contrived. That both our impulse to give and our gifts are more a balm for guilty consciences about personal consumption than an “authentic” desire to help others. That our receptivity to appeals during the holidays somehow “count less”.

Don’t buy it.  Assistance between November and December is just as important as it is between January and October. Savvy nonprofits know this too. Just like shelters stock up on blankets in the fall and schools ramp up the fall semester in the summer, nonprofit leaders understand and adjust to the market and make a big deal of holiday giving. And the smartest ones take the long view – and the accompanying responsibility – of being grateful for today’s givers while diligently cultivating them to give tomorrow as well.

As grownups, we know that needs exist all year long. But if we know that bright lights and festivities inside juxtaposed with cold and darkness outside leaves many people feeling alone and lacking, it’s more than right to respond.  It’s essential.

Our conscious is an impetus honed from childhood to be an internal guide for good and healthy action. We should embrace balancing the joy of receiving with the act of giving.

So give in to your impulse to give this season! When we make choices that use both our logic and our instinct, we utilize all of our knowledge, which is true intelligence at work. And everyone gains in the process.

Happy Holidays!