Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Season Of Selfishness

You've seen them: The crowds in the malls and the stores. You've stood in them: Seemingly endless lines at the check-out register. You've waited in it: Slow cooks, servers, and customers at your favorite restaurant. What do these all have in common? People.

Who makes up those crowds? Who waits in those lines? Who serves us our meal? People.

These are the very same people who make up our worlds, who contribute to our society and economy, and who ultimately meet our needs. They move from being essential to being in the way.

I was troubled by a post this week where the writer said he would appreciate a Christmas gift while at the stores: More check-out registers open to accommodate the added customers. What troubles me is that in the season of giving, there seems to be an added layer of selfishness in many people. Joy to the World and Peace on Earth have been replaced with O, Come on Already and What Inconvenience is This?

May I offer a solution? (This solution does not involve making all of your Christmas purchases online.) Find creative ways to spend your waiting time during this busy time of the year.
  • Look for opportunities to encourage those who must work to serve you: Smile, be thankful (say it), leave a bigger tip...
  • See the people around you as frustrated, aggravated, and inconvenienced (kind of like the way we feel), and do something to brighten their day: Let someone in front of you in line, hold the door, tell an elderly person they "look good..."
  • Go the extra step with those who are seeking to make a difference of their own: Buy a cup of coffee for the Salvation Army bell ringer, send an anonymous thank-you note to the home of a family that decorates their house promoting the real meaning of Christmas (their address should be on the mailbox), take the gift card you received and drop it off at your church or local charity...
Simple, creative gift-giving that can go a long way toward changing the way we see the people who make our lives inconvenient during this joyous time of year.

Question: What are some of your ideas for moving from selfishness to giving? Share your thoughts below in comments.

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