This can certainly be considered a holy or religious season. Many religions celebrate a significant holiday in December, the early winter season. There are some 14 different religious holidays celebrated in early winter. I find it fascinating that there are hundreds of millions of people all over the world with seemingly completely “different” points of view or belief systems that are all celebrating some significant event in the their religion at the same time of year. I don’t believe in coincidence and I don’t find one here. Everyone may celebrate differently but everyone is trying to get to the same place. We may all be on different paths but fundamentally we are striving for similar things. At the heart of most all religions or belief systems stands virtue. Basically, be good, do good, for nothing more than “good’s sake.”
Virtue can be defined as “having a high moral standard.” When someone does something that would generally be deemed as “good”, they may be referred to as a virtuous person. I’d take the definition one step further. Virtue is the intent behind the action. We have all witnessed individuals, companies even political figures engaged in activities that they hope will position them in a good light with others. It’s transparent, it’s a “good act” that lacks virtue. Virtue is the WHY. When some engages in a virtuous act they do so for the pure good of it, they want for nothing.
In this season of giving take a few moments to consider your WHY. Why do you celebrate, why do you give, donate or volunteer? When you do engage in that act of celebrating, giving, or volunteering and it comes from a virtuous place, a place that seeks nothing in return, you’ll know it, you’ll feel it. You probably have felt it many times. Giving just feels better than getting. That feeling, that’s your holiday gift, be aware of it, acknowledge it, hold on to it for just a little while longer than you normally have in the past. That warm feeling that emerges from an act of good that is motivated only by virtue, that’s the Holiday Spirit. And I believe we can all use a little more of that this season.