This will be my one Christmas thought and then I'll shut up. Most of what I have to say this time of year are the things best kept to yourself. Again, I don’t know how to explain things briefly, so this could take a minute.
Understandably, this season and all of its trappings often move folks spirits to a need for charitable acts. Well, I have a suggestion that if you can find it in your heart to follow, I guarantee you’’ll make a relatively long term improvement in someone's life that won’t cost you a cent. You’re probably gonna think you know where I’m headed, and you'll be right about the direction, but……
Whether they are “right” or “wrong” in how they got to where they are, there are a huge number of folks in this life who are alone. Personally, I strongly believe that a percentage of people are by design or default fated to be alone. Some are there for the world to see. They are out in public, or existing in plain site on the edge of the public. Those are the ones actively seeking to sauve over the alone as best they can. They still have the hope inside. A great many you will never really see, unless you’re actively looking. These folks have found a slot in this world to occupy that's not so obvious. Hidden enough so that the world at large hums along around them without notice. Think of it as a defense mechanism. “If I don’t have to deal with you then there’s no chance for whatever got me here to happen again.” Many or most don’t see where they are ever changing. That's the definition of having lost hope.
The only ones to notice this kind of person are the ones that they are forced to deal with to get by. Healthcare providers know them best. Know a nurse or doctor, ask, they’ll back me up. They’re not the only ones though. Grocery store workers, the folks at the corner convenience store know them. To a lesser extent, maybe an leo thats really familiar with they’re area, and of course at the end when they have to deal with what remains because there is no one else to do it. Ask any of them. The numbers of these people and the stories that got them there can be heartbreaking.
At this point it may seem that what I'm about to suggest is that you run out and find one of these people and include them in your celebration because “No one should be alone on Christmas!”, but I’m not. In fact, unless you already know them well and know for certain that would be something they would welcome, please don’t. That sort of thing is best left to the oh so heartwarming fiction that comes along with the season. After a long enough time being where they are, someone coming at you with what you know is a seasonally affected gesture is unwelcome and off putting. From where they are, no matter how well intentioned you are, that reeks to them of phony and can actually harden their attitude. If you were all alone and someone includes you in their celebrations and everything tidings of comfort and joy and then……….. you’re alone again. Let that happen a couple of three times and it becomes negative re-enforcement. What I’m suggesting would/will require a small but at least semi-permanent Christmas change in you as a gift to another person, one in actual need.
If you really want to change the life of a person who walks through this life every day alone, try this. Put the thought into it that would be required and try to come up with one small thing that you might have in common. Anything no matter how small can be that starting point. Just a sentence or two on the occasions when you see them about that one little thing. Maybe you find other things after a time, maybe you don’t. Either way you’ll have made that person at least one small tick less alone in this world. You might be amazed at the amount of that hope you can give back by showing to someone you have actually put some thought into them. Remember, it may be hard to imagine from the embrace of family and friends of your own, but you may be the only one who does.
So at the most basic what I’m asking is that if you want to be charitable this Christmas, give someone hope in life, not just hope for Christmas.