We all know how great it feels to receive gifts. However, the joy of getting is short-lived. Our lives are richer when we share, and that great inner joy comes from helping others to better their lives. Truly giving from the heart fills your life with joy and nourishes your soul. Giving provides an intrinsic reward that’s far more valuable than the gift. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “To find yourself, lose yourself in the service of others.” Giving takes you out of yourself and allows you to expand beyond earthly limitations. True joy lies in the act of giving without an expectation of receiving something in return.
Giving back to one’s community is part of what makes our society function is what Jillian Haslam believes. She faced a bruising childhood of extreme poverty, malnutrition and disease. She lived through the deaths of four siblings and some appalling instances of racist abuse. Today,Jillian Haslam, author and motivational speaker and her goal is to reach more and more people and inspire them that anything is possible with hard work.Jillian is a Trustee on the board of Remedia Trust. Remedia is a non-profit organization in India that seeks to provide support for,and the betterment of, people. Remedia’s operations have expanded to cater to old age people, the sick, the disabled, the impoverished and the neglected.
Jillian says, “We have floated a Kindness for Christmas campaign in order to reach people who are in desperate need. People from all over the world have come forward to help the sick, the blind, the elderly, the disabled, children who have never had a pizza before, and those who have never been on an outing. Everywhere you look, people are busy writing down Christmas shopping lists and working themselves up over what gift to fetch their loved ones, a friend or colleague; the mass media is awash with a barrage of advertisements that kick in weeks before the season; and every shop (online or brick-and-mortar) is adorned with Christmas offers and holiday decorations.”
The holiday season has become so commercialized that you cannot go anywhere without spotting some sales and ‘Holiday Deal!’ sign on store windows; neither can you those oh-so-ubiquitous Santa decorations meant to put you in the ‘festive spirit’. The popularity of Christmas has significantly overshadowed the true essence of Christmas.
Jillian explains “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against season decorations, or Santa bath mats and soap dispensers, or the Elf on the Shelf. It’s just that the marketing gimmick has become so commonplace that it has successfully managed to suck us in on the materialistic side of things. And in the process, we often forget to take the time to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas.While there are many philanthropic efforts happening every day in all corners of the world as we speak, let us not treat this as a task we need to cross off our lists so we can feel good about ourselves. It’s never about us. The world is still plagued with poor people (financially speaking), as it is with people who have no guarantee of a meal every rising sun. Homeless folk. Sick children. Lonely souls, you name them.While we go about our holiday shopping sprees and spoil our loved ones with gifts galore, let’s take a moment to reflect on how it feels like to be in the shoes of the less fortunate out there. Let us remind ourselves that just because we can afford unnecessary purchases and costly trips, not everyone can. Let us not lose sight of the fact that the true spirit of Christmas is not to lose ourselves in the sea of novelty items, but it is all about simple sharing.”