Serene Green, one of our favorite local farm stands is giving away potatoes for the holidays. Prior to their closing for the season on Christmas Eve, owners, John and Laura Smith, placed a large crate filled with gorgeous, eastern Long Island soil-covered, fresh potatoes outside their front door with a big sign announcing, “Merry Christmas from Serene Green – Help yourself to Local White Potatoes (no charge).”
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and wife, Priscilla Chan, announced over the course of their life, are giving away 99% of their Facebook fortune, said to be worth over $45 billion. In perspective, imagine Mr. Zuckerberg, 31, lives another 60 years, which would average an annual charitable gift of approximately $750 million annually, or approximately $63 million a month for the remainder of his life. That’s not chump change.
Across the country, several wealthy individuals, working with local law enforcement and first responders, are giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars to random people as an act of Secret Santa. In Moline, IL, a needy family answered their door to find a freshly decorated Christmas tree, a teddy bear, and a note from Santa. In Pittsburg, KS, The Colonial Fox Theatre, a local landmark, had fallen under disrepair and closed, and now, with a $250,000 donation from a Secret Santa, the theatre will be restored. And in Pittsburgh, PA, a local businessman who wishes anonymity, is walking the streets giving away over $100,000 in $100 bills.
In Freemont, OH, the Grace Community Church created the “You’ve Been Gifted Program,” encouraging members to perform random acts of kindness. In Tupelo, MS, the All Saints Episcopal Youth Community, go out into the community to give away money and also perform unsolicited acts of kindness.
Beyond all the political name-calling, acts of terror, and talks of global warming, there are countless wonderful, kind and compassionate acts of giving across America. We are a nation of generosity and goodness, a culture of people who truly care about our neighbors, community, and, ultimately, humanity. Please, don’t allow the loud voices of the negative few drown out the glorious soft and gentle voices of the benevolent, concerned and charitable many.
In my book, One Less. One More. I write in Chapter Nine,
“Entitlement is another form of resistance to your heart’s calling; more feedback demonstrating the ego’s feeble attempt to control the universe. You heart understands the benefit of serving humanity, while the ego believes you are entitled to humanity serving you. Choose less entitlement and more service.”
If you truly want to be happy, feel good, and experience a connection to humanity, give. Give freely, give often, and give with joy. And, if you’re like Serene Green, the Zuckerberg’s, and all the Secret Santa’s who are already giving, thank you.
Happy holidays, and may you continue finding peace in your heart, a pep in your step, and goodness throughout every day of your life. Namaste.