Happy New Year. 2014 is here, a year which most of us are hoping will be an enjoyable one.
I’m sure some of us are already tearing our hair out at failing to cut down on hearty food or failing to be more organised people on these first few days of the brand new year. Resolutions down the drain and we’re feeling pretty lousy.
I’m not big on making resolutions. I don’t like living by a tight set of rules, preferring to go with the flow most of the time. Nevertheless this year, I resolve to give.
Giving. It’s often an act of spontaneity. Something spur of the moment.
Giving. A moment where we don’t focus on ourselves but on others. A rewarding moment in time.
I got a taste of the repercussions of giving a few days ago while in Melbourne’s Chinatown. Walking down Little Bourke Street, I spied a skinny, long-haired blonde Caucasian lady about half a block away from me. We were walking directly towards each other, on course collision. I looked at her; she caught me looking and stared back. I swerved to my left to let her pass. At exactly the same instant she swerved to her right. We were still in each other’s way. I moved to my right. She moved to her left. Still we were on course collision.
The summer wind whipped my layered hair around my face. She was eating what looked like a Chinese dumpling or bun out of a brown paper bag while walking. Both of us were making obvious efforts to avoid the other. Surely we looked hilarious.
She must have felt awkward. I know I did. Oh well. Looking directly into her eyes, I smiled. She smiled back. And she kept smiling until we passed each other – fortunately without incident. I no longer felt awkward, instead chipper. I daresay she felt this way too.
Giving comes in different forms. It can be a dollar donation to a charity. It can be lending a book to your neighbour. It can be buying your friend that pricey bag they’ve been eyeing for ages for their birthday.
Or it can be something as simple as a smile. A smile to someone you know. Someone you don’t know. Someone of the same race as you. Or someone of another race who is totally not expecting that smile and when they see you smiling, they see you as another kind human being and not an ethnicity to be feared.
Giving goes a long way. It makes us feel good. It makes those around us feel good.
So give this year. Most of the time it costs us nothing but kindness from our heart.
As the saying goes, happiness comes from within.
What do you plan to do this year?