Celebrate The Spirit of the Season On Giving Tuesday
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, by mid-November, your television and retail experience is transformed into doorbusting commercial seduction. We're immersed in a "come to buy,come to buy/don't miss these low, low prices" retail paradise gift wrapped in Cyber Monday and fastened with a big Black Friday bow. Singer Tina Lear captures that hustle brilliantly in the :54 second track below. But there's new momentum this year in the movement to counterbalance commercial indulgence by dialing back to the true spirit of the season. Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is celebrated by 68 countries and on Tuesday, December 1, people everywhere will express philanthropic impulses with the goal of bettering our world. That's a magic that every faith and income level can participate in creating; the magic of the season.
Henry Timms, brainchild of Giving Tuesday and Director of New York's 92Y, explains that the philosophy of the event itself is philanthropic and unfolds unlike standard commercial fundraising models. "The old-power way of thinking of a project like this is thinking of it as a franchise. You make sure everyone fits into the boxes provided," Timms told Fast Company.com. Rather than restricting the campaign's messaging and logos to benefit 92Y or to siphon proprietary profit from the event, he chose to open it up by inviting creativity, individuality, and benefit for all participants. "We made a decision that it was designed to be open-sourced and owned by other people," says Timms. Since 2012, when the movement was conceived, it's grown and morphed into many different localized campaigns as he explained to the Guardian in August. "You see cities, towns and villages coming together to not tell a national Giving Tuesday story but a very local one. And it’s brought some interesting moments,” Timms says. “People take it and make it their own – they flip the hashtag and turn it into something new.”
We live in a throw away society with a market of disposable goods. Yet, as we grow older, we all tend to collect more and more material possessions. It's a fact of life. Most of us will strike a healthy balance and let go of possessions we no longer need. Depending on: our available space, life experience, mental health, and family tendencies, though, 2-5% of us will slowly allow material possessions to take over living space because of a condition known as hoarding disorder. Television has sensationalized it but non profits and mental health professionals are counterbalancing the stigma by conducting research into the disorder and developing supports for people faced with the potential legal, social, financial, or psychological consequences of having too much stuff.
Start Fall By Committing To End Deadly Falls
In our culture it's been okay to laugh at falls. During Gerald Ford's presidency Time magazine, CBS news, and other mainstream media outlets often presented stories on the President's "clumsiness" as lighthearted news. In 2006, the month Ford died, correspondent Bob Schieffer felt compelled to recount that history writing:
"...after he [Ford] took a tumble or two on the ski slopes and then slipped one rainy day and fell headlong down the stairs coming off Air Force One, he developed the reputation for clumsiness. The joke was Vice President Rockefeller was just a banana peel away from the presidency."
Given the laughter that famous falls have generated it's no wonder they aren't taken seriously or that fall prevention measures are only introduced after a fall occurs---if then. Yet, one in three people 65 or older will fall and, after 70, even a ground level fall can be dangerous or deadly. That's why President Obama launched the STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents Deaths & Injuries) initiative this year authorizing grants to increase fall prevention awareness in the public and among health care professionals. Do you know how to prevent a fall? You'll find an abundance of free resources this month through two events: the 8th Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 23 and Go4Life all September. I learned something new maybe you will too!
Self Criticism: It's Not What You Think It Is And You Don't Have To Live With It
If your inner voice has ever said: When will I learn?! How stupid can I be! or something as stern as, You're not good enough! then you likely have self-critical tendencies. If so, you're not alone. Look no further than the popular saying,"We're our own worst critic," or the best selling book series, "For Dummies" to realize that self-criticism is prevalent in our society. Most of us experience it and few of us question what it is or whether it can be overcome. Recent research reveals, though, that self criticism may be a dysfunctional outcome of our ancient fight/flight instincts reacting to a less threatening world and there are signs of hope as individuals are healing the resulting mental and physiological damage through Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC).