The One Gift Everyone Should Give This Christmas

By: Sandy Churchill

20190101_181900.jpgThis year’s Thanksgiving has turned the page, Christmas songs are on the radio, and stores are bedecked in their finest of crimson, silver, and gold. Many of us are in the throes of Christmas shopping and searching for gifts for loved ones near and far, be it online shopping or frenzied treks to stores. But amid the shopping for tangible, wrap-able gifts, I pondered what a gift to humanity might look like.

Was there one thing that would make a difference on a global scale? We hear a lot about “peace on earth” and “goodwill toward men”, and of course love is in the air when we consider card sentiments and well-wishes in holiday music. I’m a great believer in joy, also gratitude. Honesty is important and its counterpart: trust. I’ve pondered the role of selfishness as perhaps the greatest vice on the planet, but what would I choose as a gift to each person across the globe? If I could wave a Christmas magical wand and sprinkle a sparkling wish across the sky on Christmas eve, what would I bestow?

Compassion. That would be my gift.

Think about it: compassion for your spouse, your child, your parents, your siblings, in-laws, and relatives near and far…

Compassion for your co-workers, the ones you like and more importantly, the ones who make you bristle…

Compassion for your neighbors, including the ones that drive you crazy…

Compassion for your friends, in good times and bad…

And now for the really difficult ones: compassion for those who offend you, those you do not understand, those who disregard your feelings and hurt you intentionally or not…

Compassion for those who unfriend you on social media, or whose posts make your blood boil…

Compassion for politicians who disappoint, lie, steal, or cheat the public…

Compassion for those you cannot imagine agreeing with and whose actions stir anger, disgust, or even hatred.

Compassion is not agreement. Nor is it carte blanche for others to trample on you. It is a gentle pause to give, even for a moment, a degree of grace to another. It is a step to give another person room to make a mistake, and try to understand why a person might have made that decision. Do we always arrive at understanding? No. But even the tiniest attempt at compassion is a gift to ourselves and to each other, to recognize our imperfections and failings and extend love, grace, and the chance to begin again—and it doesn’t even need wrapping!Christmas 028.JPG



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