Just before Christmas people, usually family, do the rounds of asking what you want. Previous years I received mostly gift vouchers for books stores, which, by the way, come in handy when purchasing text books for the new year. However, this year my request was different.
Over the years I have become increasing loathefull of the “religious” holiday; even as an atheist I see the merit in celebrating the holiday in it’s intended setting, however, the message today seems to be focused on what gifts I receive and what status it gives me amongst my peers. That is why this year I asked for a gift that gives. The most meaningful gifts I received this year were donations on my behalf to Oxfam and Care Australia.
Simple inexpensive gifts like soap, seeds, condoms, educations fees, etc, can help those who are greatly less fortunate than ourselves in ways we can never understand. Soap, for example, when distributed through refugee camps can reduce the incidence of diarrhoea by 20%; providing seeds and seedlings enables farmers grow nutritious food for their families, as well as commodity crops for harvesting to generate money to pay for education, food, shelter, drinkable water, etc.
Next year, think about a gift that will give to those who need it most.
[Cross] posted by Nathan, [here]