It is December… official month of holiday fun.
I love this month… I love that my birthday is this month, I love that I get to see my family, I love that it is cold and dark but that the turning point of the season happens, I love that there are pretty twinkling lights and excuses to go shopping, I love that baking seems par for the course on December weekends, I love the music….
And I can get all that stuff without needing to really get into the religious aspects of the holiday.
The best part about this season for believers and non believers alike is the importance on family… and the importance of “good.”
Good: good wishes, good tidings, good deeds, good gifts….
Which brings me to my point. A lot of churches and other religious organizations use the holidays as a catalyst for giving, for community support, for charity. That’s fine… it makes perfect sense and I don’t begrudge them this at all.
I just wish that more of us in the secular community could separate the “holy” out of the holiday and do likewise. Without any prompting, I can list dozens of religious organizations that are helping the poor, the hungry, the children, the veterans,… If pressed for their secular equivalents, I can list.. well… fewer.
My point is that we have a great opportunity to help our community in this season. Whether we are religious and help in the name of our deity and our faith or if we are non religious and we extend help in the name of common decency and for the betterment of our world, we all have a chance to do good this winter season.
So, I encourage you, my readers of every faith and non faith alike to find a way to reach out to your community, to help, to encourage, to do some good.
An organization that is near and dear to my heart this season is Big Brothers Big Sisters. This organization helps low income children in many ways… the one-on-one mentoring that I am sure most of you know about, as well as facilitating after school programs in low income and high risk areas. These programs help kids have a safe place to study and socialize. By providing positive role models and giving encouragement to these kids and teens BBBS is making a positive difference in the future of its communities.
I have personally seen the amazing results that occur when a child is treated well, given opportunities, and helped along by a caring adult. A lot of charities this season will ask you help solve some big problems in our society… by helping BBBS you help our society avoid these future problems. Kids in the BBBS program are more likely to stay in school and avoid drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy, and gang activities.
In other words, BBBS is part of the solution and I for one am glad to donate to them this holiday season.
If you want more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters, check out their site or ask me!