The practice of giving is universally recognised as one of the most basic human virtues and in a sense contributes to spiritual development.
Because materialism, especially in the western world, dominates our lives one should contemplate on the true values of our possessions.
Count all those many things one has given to oneself then ask, what real meaning do they have today? Then reflect on those of meaning that one gave to others at a cost to self.
By this retrospection, one could make the glad discovery that the true meaning of giving is better found in what one is willing to take from oneself!
However, some interesting facts reveal that the wealthy in America donate only 1.3 % of their income to charity, whereas the less fortunate 3.2 % and recent research has shown that correlation between wealth and affluence increases unethical behaviour.
Extravagant gifts show enormous generosity on the part of the giver, but random acts of kindness and thoughtfulness have great value.
Spontaneous acts of selflessness are often overlooked in peoples stressful and overburdened lives. It is enriching to write a note of thanks when one has been treated with kindness, to compliment a stranger in a sincere way, to write a letter of appreciation to those in the community who have delivered good service or to invite a lonely person to join your family on Christmas day.
Ubuntu is an African word roughly translated as "human kindness" or, humanity to others in a more philosophical sense meaning "the belief of a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".
As a forerunner to Christmas the following articles will not be of such a serious nature, but to lift one's spirits during this special time of the year!