TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Wed, April 01

Commentary: Christmas giving and spirit should be a year-round thing

Jason W. Brooks is the associate editor of the Verde Independent.

Jason W. Brooks is the associate editor of the Verde Independent.

The holiday spirit needs to remain with us year-round. The positive energy that comes from providing food, clothing and other essentials to others should follow into January and all the way through the coming year.

Whenever we hear something terrible happening to a person or group in December, our first thoughts are often that it’s A shame something negative would happen during the holidays.

This is a strange human tendency when one considers there is never really a “good” time for a tragedy or negative life event. No one gets out a calendar and decides which weeks or months would be best for accidents and other unfortunate life circumstances.

The holiday spirit needs to remain with us year-round. The positive energy that comes from providing food, clothing and other essentials to others should follow into January and all the way through the coming year. It shouldn’t be limited to when decorations are up and it’s cold outside.

Let’s come back to this column in March and April, when it’s warming up and many students and others are on spring break, and the extra traffic makes the roads a bit stressful.

Let’s come back to the concept of being nice to each other in June when someone’s air conditioning breaks and things get unbearable. Being nice to each other will have no less value then than it does now. 

Let’s revisit being nice to each other during next year’s Thunder Valley Rally, when motorcycles come roaring into Cottonwood and other Verde Valley communities. 

Lastly, let’s keep the holiday spirit in mind all the way into the most-rainy times of the year that cause flooding in some parts of the valley. This means respecting public safety personnel who put up barricades to prevent people from driving across flooded washes, creeks or low spots.

Let’s see if we can make this more than just a New Year’s resolution. Let’s see if we can help keep our homeless fed and clothed when the weather’s nice, and if we can, help as many move off the streets in a permanent way as possible.

Too many of our attitudes are reactions and based on how someone treated us in our last interaction with them, or what happened to each one of us within the past 15 minutes. However, a bank teller doesn’t know what was said between you and a co-worker or a family member  today, and it shouldn’t be the teller’s responsibility to figure that out.

In a world filled with hurry and worry, it’s important to take a deep breath and new approach — several times per day, if necessary. 

Let’s see if the holidays can become more than a brief respite from us treating others harshly in 11-month stretches. We must be kinder to ourselves, and in turn, kinder to one another, all of the time.

The next time Earth is in this position in relation to the sun, it would be great if we could reflect on 2020 and think of as a time when we treated fellow humans better than we had before, rather than the same or worse.

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