First published in December 2012, it bears repeating here. At this time of year when there’s so much focus on consumerism, let’s remember the gifts that go on forever.
Within each person is the power to make a difference–in themselves, their communities and the world. Not only is leaving it up to someone else risky, doing so gives away your power without taking away your responsibility.
Gifts from the heart, whether tangible or intangible, are meaningful and touching. However, peace, love and positive change don’t come about by giving someone the latest gizmo to add to his or her collection or banning crime. It’s far more basic than that and so glaringly simple, yet we consistently overlook it.
No matter what religious orientation you choose, each one celebrates the light – that spirit that is in each one of us, that connects us to each other, all other life and to Spirit. Fundamental to change is loving our Self. Only then can we love others and have the strength to share.
10 Free Gifts that Make a Difference
They don’t cost a cent, they’re self-perpetuating and you can give them all year round!
- Being You. There is only one. No one else has your combination of skills, attributes and possibility. This is the strength behind diversity. Be who you are. All other roles are taken.
- Kindness. In itself, this can change the world. Making a daily practice of extending kindness without expecting anything in return touches people in ways you will never know.
- Consistency. Like going to the gym, the more you work out, the better you get. It establishes credibility and trust.
- Focus. Know who you are, recognize and appreciate the energy in both your strengths and shadows. Use it to fulfill what you’re here to do. Focus enables you to be proactive rather than react impulsively to external events.
- Persistence. Just because it sounds simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. There will be many challenges and setbacks. It’s how you learn. Don’t let them throw you off track.
- Courage. Although it seems counterintuitive, it takes courage to be who you are. Others will disagree with you, feel threatened and try to dissuade you. Courage to follow your intuition and stand your ground in the face of opposition creates fulfillment.
- Accountability. If you were perfect, you wouldn’t be here. You’re going to make mistakes so accept responsibility for them, learn from them and move on. The minute you place blame on others is the minute you give away your power.
- Resilience. It’s not easy to own up to mistakes. I prefer to call them lessons. Although you may have to ask, particularly for the tougher ones, there are resources all around standing by and willing to pitch in.
- Understanding. Look at conflicting issues from the other person’s point of view with tolerance and empathy. There’s a common ground somewhere. You can both learn if you’re receptive. You may even receive information you hadn’t considered that changes your perspective.
- Celebration. Have fun! Join with others to celebrate success and your common strengths. There is far more good in the world than evil, although you don’t know that from watching the news. You know it by being a part of it and gathering with others who do the same.
You are a role model, whether you realize it or not. Be yourself, share your gifts and change the world!