EDITORIAL: Show of kindness should not wait until the end of the year

The festive season is upon us once again. In some countries it is referred to as “holiday season” defined by mass shopping and sharing with families and friends. In most cultures it is a time for family reunions and reconnecting with old friends and exchanging gifts.

The festive season is upon us once again. In some countries it is referred to as “holiday season” defined by mass shopping and sharing with families and friends.

In most cultures it is a time for family reunions and reconnecting with old friends and exchanging gifts.

In some societies, this is a time to show gratitude; employers shower their employees with gifts to recognize their service and some even receive hefty bonuses.

Right now, major firms are on the Corporate Social Responsibility trail. They are giving to the disadvantaged in order to bring some cheer to the most vulnerable. Many term it as “giving back to society”, and over the years, the culture of sharing has spread; but mostly during the festive season.

But why do people have to wait until the end of the year to show some kindness?

One might be tempted to suggest that this is a man-eat-man society, where everyone is busy with their own things and worries. So, guilt-ridden people set aside a time in the calendar to do something humane. It makes them feel good about themselves; it is akin to buying back their humanity.

In some cultures, the art of sharing is well entrenched, an example being our Rwandan culture: A hungry stranger could knock on a door and expect to be given food. A tired traveler could be given lodgings for the night and set off on his journey the next day at no cost.

But today, the economic politics have taken the driving seat that everything comes with a price tag.

But do we really need to set a price for kindness and helping the vulnerable? Do we need to wait until the end of the year to show pour magnanimity?

The world would be a better place if every day was a festivity, where everyone was his brother’s keeper and savior. That is not asking much; it is the core of humanity.

 

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