Sat12152018

Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm

Editorial

Giving Back During the Holidays

default article imageThanksgiving is the time of year when we count our blessings as we gather with family and friends to enjoy the biggest cheat day of the year, shortly followed by the holidays. With Black Friday on the mind, aka the hunger games of shopping, we often focus on the materialistic side of the holidays and forget about the humanistic aspect: giving back. In honor of Thanksgiving, The Outlook took the time to discuss the importance of giving back.

When talking to the current editors, they all had their own definition for what it means to “give back.” Yet, every editor stressed the importance of doing so. One editor defined it as, “Being a better member of your community.”

The editor continued, “When you volunteer, it feels rewarding to know you are helping someone else in need.”

Another editor agreed with this sentiment. “Giving back, to me, means reciprocating kindness back into the world,” he explained. “The kindness we show others can make a world of difference. Sometimes, just the smallest acts are the sincerest.”

Another editor believed giving back to be a means of paying it forward. “By acknowledging how much you have to be thankful for, while some others can’t even meet their necessities, giving back is sharing what you have with others out of gratitude and kindness.”

Most of our current editors have volunteer experience and have one moment in particular that pulls at their heart strings. One editor is an EMT in his hometown and reflected on his memories on the job. “I get to help people when they need it most and it goes a long way to helping someone feel better,” he said. “I also get to do it with some of my best friends.”

Another editor remembers volunteering after Hurricane Sandy. “My favorite volunteer moment was cleaning up Union Beach after Hurricane Sandy, a town that was absolutely devastated by the storm. It was beautiful to see everyone come together,” he said.

“My favorite volunteering memory would be working at a senior center last fall semester because it was really gratifying to build relationships with the residents and making them happy, especially since the residents were people from my community,” noted one editor.

When we close our eyes and think of the holidays and we see twinkly lights. Unfortunately, the holidays are not always a merry time filled with love and childhood nostalgia. While the holidays can be joyous, they can also be a struggle to get through. During the holidays it is imperative to give back and count our blessings.

“It is important to give back during the holiday season, we should encourage people to give back to radiate positivity,” one editor encouraged. “Some people are less fortunate and because of this it is important that we, as communities, help those in need.”

The editor continued, asking, “The holiday season isn’t easy for everyone so why not make someone’s day a little brighter?”

Another editor agreed, adding, “During the holidays, giving back has a bigger meaning. It is when people might be lonelier, so giving back during this time can make someone’s day and can go a long way, even if it is something small.”

Giving back to others during the holidays is a step in the right direction. A great step in the direction of becoming a better person is turning the notion of “paying it forward” into an everyday habit, rather than the grand gesture it’s usually seen as.

Even though it’s easier said than done, our editors had some tips on how to make giving back more doable. Some editors felt that donating was a good place to start.

“Giving back could be as easy donating food to a local food bank or donating gently used coats,” said one editor.

Another editor elaborated further, “Something that I think is achievable and meaningful is regularly donating to your local food bank. People need those donations all the time, not just during the holidays. It’ll only take a couple minutes out of your week to drop something off!”

One editor advised that simply counting your blessings is a good start, “When you realize how much you have, you can better acknowledge what others do not; and hopefully, that will prompt others to want to share and give back.

Regardless of how you decide to give back, don’t let this holiday season pass you by without having paid it forward in some way. We need to set our best foot forward going into the New Year and be the change we want to see in the world.

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