Sorry, I’m not a big seasonal person. Sure, I like the holidays, but it’s not a big deal to me, as much as I enjoy them, they annoy me. Whatever.
And it tis the season of giving. Call me Grinch, it’s accurate enough, I really don’t like “season for giving”. I’m all for giving, I just don’t believe giving should be a season or seasonal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad people give, but giving is a year-round gift. Not for the receiver, for the giver.
I’m also not a fan (did I mention the Grinch yet?) of flat out giving. I’m a strong believer in the old “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a life” philosophy.
Maybe I’m not the person to providing advice on giving, I rarely give any money. Sorry folks, artist, not exactly rich here (though to be fair I’ve got food on my table, a roof over my head, so I’m pretty blessed).
So for those like me, stingy and grumpy (I’m so old!) may I send you to Kiva. Don’t give, help micro-loan. It’s not the perfect solution, by any means, but it helps out. You can give money once, and it can keep helping different people over and over again. Anything that can help a person start a small business, help a person get educated, take care of themselves, their families, I’m all for.
Add $25 here and there, let it rotate around, help many people out. Not to mention it’s nice to export a little American goodwill. I’m perfectly happy knowing that someone, somewhere, knows they are being helped out by some American who thinks the world can be a little better for us all. (I’m currently helping a well digger in Cambodia improve his business, and a retailer in Tajikistan increase the diversity of what she stocks.)
I may be a pretty cold-hearted person in my belief that conflict, strife, and suffering are natural states, and even ultimately good, but I do believe that all boats can be lifted together sometimes.
So in my grumpy seasonal giving plea, help someone out, don’t do it for this week, do it for the rest of this life. Look at kiva.org, and take a moment to remember, we don’t have it all, but we are lucky to have what we do have, and help someone else get so lucky.