EDITORIAL: Generosity and appreciation should be present every day of the year

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EDITORIAL: Generosity and appreciation should be present every day of the year

Courtesy Public Domain Pictures

Courtesy Public Domain Pictures

Courtesy Public Domain Pictures

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With the cold of winter comes the warmth of family, friends, and even strangers. The holiday spirit always seems to heighten our generosity, our capacity to love, our gratitude. But what if we maintained this spirit throughout the year? What if gift giving and charitable living lasted all year long and not solely during the holiday season?

Financially, people may not be able to give material gifts. However, we have the ability to voice our sympathy, compassion, love, and other genuine feelings to all people throughout the year. Simply letting people know that they are appreciated can make a world of difference in one person’s day. Imagine the increase in positivity if the holiday spirit overflowed into the rest of the months of the year.

Gift receivers aren’t the only ones who benefit from giving; the gift giver also enjoys the effects of generosity. Princeton University scholar Dr. Michael Norton held a study testing which made humans happier: spending money on oneself or on others. The results indicated that “that those who reported spending more on others… also reported a greater level of happiness, while how much they spent on themselves had no impact on happiness.” Gifting all year long would increase happiness for givers and receivers alike.

Despite the happiness gift-giving brings, generosity shines brightest during tough times. When life is the opposite of sunshine, and flowers and candy, a token of friendship or appreciation has the greatest impact.

So as nice as the holiday season is in its ability to bring people together and inspire kindness, let’s keep people together. Let’s continue to spark that kindness because not everyday can be a holiday.

The unsigned editorial reflects the views of The Editorial Board.

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