Each year as the holiday season approaches, many of us start to feel the same sense of dread. The thought of battling traffic and queues and finding parking, not to mention the spending and the immense amount of packaging that makes its way into our homes and our lives. The need to tick all the names off our lists, to buy for those we love, for those we have to (and let’s not forget those random co-workers - damn secret santa), overrides our own personal values in many cases.
Without focusing on any specific religion or set of beliefs, the spirit of giving – whatever the reason - comes from a pure place inside of us. In most cases its intent is to bring joy to the recipient, but consumerism has reshaped that value into something else. Something that looks like it might once have been joy, is now a weird mixture of things that leave us calculating and justifying rather than choosing with an authentic purpose in mind.
So, what is that authentic purpose? Is it to be thought of by others as generous, or is it to be rewarded with gifts in return for your good deeds? Actually, it’s the act that should be with us all in a time of giving – the act of spreading love in ways that reach far beyond our imaginings. Just as the act of giving can be an act of love from you to another, the act of sourcing and choosing that gift can do the same and so much more.
There has been a shift in recent decades towards charitable purchases or making donations to those in need, on behalf of someone else. But more often than not, these purchases solve a short-term problem, then the act loses its value over time. Or only a portion of your money goes to where you think it should.
The power of authentic giving comes from conscious choices that deliver empowerment rather than charity. Across the globe there are motivated hard-working individuals who want the same things that we want – health and wellbeing for their families and safety and security for them as they grow and build their futures.
Finding the inspiring individuals who make beautiful things is our authentic purpose. Giving you the opportunity to be a part of that is our reward. Your purchase of handmade upcycled jewellery, or hand dyed and stitched leather bags, enable our makers to earn their own money and to grow their own personal and financial worth. They use their most valuable assets - time, knowledge of traditional crafting techniques and artisanal skills, to create beautiful gifts that give so much more than just holiday spirit.
Until next time.
Photo credits in order of appearance:
Caleb Woods, Simon Maage, Finders and Makers, Finders and Makers.