Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rethinking Gift Giving: Don't We Have Enough?

If any one of you doesn't have enough stuff, please let us know here at the blog. I would be more than happy to send some of mine and I bet there are dozens of people that read this blog who are more than willing to do likewise.

So, this holiday season, what are you giving?

Would that be poverty, violation of human rights, usury and other horrendous crimes through the gift of a blood diamond?

Are you giving something battery powered without giving rechargeable batteries and the charger?

Are you giving a petroleum powered gift--the gift that keeps on taking from not only the living generation, but those beyond?

I have a suggestion. STOP IT!

There are tens of thousands of groups working on every imaginable issue someplace in the world that could use those funds to feed people, save a mountain, river, forest, a wolf, whale, polar bear, gorilla or domestic animal, help an abused child or protect human and/or civil rights.

Many that read this blog are Christians, and many not. As Christians, we are called to pay attention to the needy in this world. That includes ALL of God's creation. Those of us not Christian are called by their social and moral consciences.

Already this year, the wolf hunt in Alaska has begun. 19 wolves have already been mutilated and slaughtered through aerial hunting. It begins with the first snow fall when wolves have a harder time racing to safety and are more easily spotted. And it HAS to stop. Groups fighting this need funds to continue their legislative work on the issue. There is also the issue of the wolves in Yellowstone, etc. Defenders of Wildlife who put out the fabulous information during the last election are, along with Alaskan groups, are on the forefront of this issue.

Species all over the world are being fought for by one group or another. Google your favorite.

There is no lack of needed funding by US domestic animal rescue groups. Local and national groups need help constantly both for legislative purposes and to pay for veterinary costs. I know how hard it is, I do it.

Pick a country. There are starving people there, including in the United States. Google "fight hunger". Or if homelessness is your issue, google the word.

On topical environmental issues, from nuclear weapons to forests, google the word. You will find them easily.

On social justice and civil rights issues, google the topic.

This year, really give. Give sincerely and give deeply. Give the gift of life. Support the good work of a non-profit group. You can fashion the gift (some will send to the receiver a note saying what you did, in other cases, you have to do it yourself) as one of true love.

Don't consume in giving, give in giving. It's easy, it's appropriate and it's sorely needed.

And please, buy a living tree... even if a little one. You can pot it and reuse or often local tree groups will accept it for urban planting. We need all the CO2 absorption we can get!