Give selflessly, for your own sake

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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It is better to give than to receive. Each year, around this time, a colourful train rolls into the Friendly City, bringing with it song and lights and an opportunity to support local charity and feed the hungry.

This year was no different.

On Tuesday evening the CPR Holiday Train arrived in Moose Jaw for the 13th year. The event didn't just entertain, it also helped the Moose Jaw & District Food Bank collect more than 5,390 pounds (2,445 kilograms) of donated food, which Terri Smith of the local food bank was very pleased to accept.

While the food bank had bins up around Moose Jaw in the days leading up to the Holiday Train's arrival, many people showed up at the CPR event on Tuesday with non-perishable supplies ready to donate.

On Tuesday, Smith said the annual event not only brings awareness to the hunger issues in Moose Jaw, but also teaches children that hunger can impact anyone, and not just the homeless.

That is so true.

The thing about Christmas and the Christmas season, it's a time of year that naturally lends itself to nonprofit organizations seeking support for worthy causes.

Ever since the fabled three magi brought to the stable in Bethlehem the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, Christmas has carried with it an element of gift giving. It is a tradition that encourages participants to think less of themselves and more of others — to give rather than receive.

However, the brilliance of the traditional gift exchange is the very fact that everyone who participates in the custom is typically also the recipient of gifts. It is an important lesson, albeit one that is rather cliché — what goes around comes around. There is a certain karma to Christmas.

Of course, the "Christian" motive behind giving of oneself during the holidays should always be generosity for generosity's sake.

But it's also true we help others so that others might help us back. It's really how we survive as individuals, families, societies and as a species.

And so once again at Christmas, Moose Javians are tasked with considering the plight of those less fortunate. Moose Javians who can share their abundance through such organizations as the food bank are not doing so entirely without selfish reasons either —nor should they.

The fact is the circumstances that might result in one requiring the services of a food bank, the Salvation Army, a shelter, or whatever, can happen to anyone. Nobody is immune to the possibility of hard times.

Therefore, giving at Christmas by those who can afford it is insurance, isn't it? Those who donate are continuing a culture of philanthropy that will hopefully still be around when the day comes the great wheel of karma has left them, or the people they care about, in need.

So really, when we donate we are in a way donating for ourselves. Who knew selflessness was so practical?

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

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