Thanksgiving came and went, and suddenly the media is flooded with sales and the race is on. “Buy gifts”! Is that it?

    December 15th, 2010

    I’ve been told I’m a Polly Ana, always seeing the bright side, a cock-eyed optimist, if you will. But I have absolutely no regrets about that – in fact, if it’s been at all infectious; I’m the happier culprit.

    I propose a poignant pause this season. A battery charger of the spirit. My partner most recently said to me, “What if each of us carves out some time to contemplate what’s good and difficult in the world. As sure as the days grow shorter and darker, conversely they will grow longer and brighter. Nature has designed the seasons to renew.”

    If we stop, even for a moment, to allow our consciousness to expand outward, to consider those less fortunate, to focus on those we love and those in need, perhaps one solitary action at a time can be born of this collective thought. I saw a man give up his lunch to a homeless fellow on the subway today. And moments later I watched a man take an elderly woman who was lost and anxious by the arm and escort her to her destination. Several friends have opted to give and receive donations to their favorite charities in lieu of gifts this year. That could indeed go “viral”, if we choose. What else can we do to alter the course of this commercial holiday cascade  – to renew the season?

    As my wise, funny and most loveable mother has said on occasion, “Get your nose out of your navel and take a look around.”

    Happiest of holidays and best wishes for a New Year filled with good fortune to you all.

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients become dynamic, confident speakers who can inspire action by delivering a message that matters. Wendy specializes in Leadership Training and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training.

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