It’s that time of the year again. Everyone is travelling to see family for Christmas. It’s the time of giving and receiving gifts, eating until your belt can’t hold it anymore, funny turkey-eating competitions, but most of all to share some quality time with family.

It is well known that not everyone on earth is lucky enough to spend time with family, or have money even to have a proper meal. And a lot of people out there do great work for the once in need. During Christmas time, for example, there are many volunteers making meals for the homeless, raising money for charities in Africa, or small (but with high impact) visit and spend time with the elderly couple next door.

One good deed

A few years ago I started a film project for charity (www.homanje.com) all profits go to different global foundations or charity cases involving cancer. Even though there were a lot of memorable moments, there is one that stands out most. I met this older lady that just found out she had cancer. And it had just started. After a few months, she was too sick even to stand or talk. I gave her a shiatsu massage once because she had too much pain. She didn’t want me to say anything about me possibly helping to spread the cancer cells even more because of the massage; she would say: “I will die soon anyway, just do it!” (Yes, Dutch people are that direct, but always in a kind way). After a few weeks, she asked her family to call me. The daughter asked me: “we know you are still editing your film and wee can totally understand if it’s not possible, but it’s worth the try, right? She is not feeling well, at all and she wants to see Homanje before she goes.”

The next day I went to see her. I brought my laptop, external hard disk and set down next to her bed. I said: “you are the first one to see some scenes of the movie.” She couldn’t talk loud anymore, but she smiled and whispered: “Yes!” So I opened a few scenes and showed it to her. She started crying, and I cried with her. She grabbed my arm and was silent the whole time.

A few weeks later she passed away. It was a beautiful woman with so much strength. She dedicated her life to her family and her community. I felt grateful to have met her!

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer. If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make the change.” – Quote: Michael Jackson – man in the mirror

The mirror

Helping others can make you happy. It’s not only the receiving, but the giving that gives you energy, releases you from stress and it even increases life- expectancy (see all the scientific articles). It can be so simple. Simple things can start a new movement. You want things to be different in the world? It all starts with the ‘man in the mirror’. If you do something good now and then, you’ll not only make somebody else very happy, but you will feel amazing yourself. Not only around Christmas but the whole year through, there are people in need of attention, food, love and kindness. Be good. Always. 

Enjoy your Christmas and see if you can do something for somebody else. How do you spend your holidays? Let me know in a comment below!

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0899764014556773

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/science-good-deeds

http://lyubomirsky.socialpsychology.org/publications

http://blog.case.edu/case-news/2007/06/01/postbook

http://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-13-773

http://www.goodnet.org/articles/one-act-kindness-usually-followed-by-another

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