Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give ― Ben Carson
For many of us, this time of year revolves around parties, shopping, gifts, and spending time with friends and family. In the quest to find the perfect gift or attend the next party many of us can lose sight of what’s truly important. While we focus on, “Holly, jolly, and bright,” many women see today as just another struggle.
As women, it’s imperative that we work together to create a better world, and in just looking around it’s apparent that there is no shortage of targets that need improvement.**
All the power in the world means nothing unless we use it to help others. I firmly believe that the best focus for helping the world this holiday season is to lift up women and girls. While we are focused on giving, sharing, and caring this season, we need to take the hand of one of our sisters and do what we can to help them along. A huge act or donation of time, treasure, or talent isn’t required to make a difference. Little things add up to a lot.
‘Tis the season to ring that bell, serve that food or deliver those meals, so reach out to help someone else.
- Shop Smarter – whether it’s buying gifts from a female owned business or looking for ways to support female empowerment through your purchases, you can make your dollars count this season. Look for opportunities to support women in your area. Huffington Post recently rounded up some presents you can give loved ones this season that benefit women around the world.
- Support A Charity – is there a charity you would like to support? Now is the perfect time to make a donation. A donation to a worthy cause that will directly benefit women and girls is always welcome. Also, in many areas you can “adopt” a family for the holidays and help with the purchase of a holiday meal, necessities, and even wish-list gifts. If you don’t have the means to adopt a family, call the charity and volunteer your time sorting donations, serving meals, or delivering baskets. You can also volunteer your talent by helping them in other ways. Charities value all of the ways we can help them, and all of our donations help them expand the ways they can help others.
- Mentor – is there a woman in your life that could benefit from a mentor relationship? Could you help her grow in the workplace or community? Successful women are guiding others through the ranks and helping them with their own experience, and through mentoring relationships, helping women step into their own power. The best part is, the benefits of mentoring go both ways. The holidays are the perfect time to reach out and develop a relationship.
- Reach Out – is there a woman in your life that is suffering this season? Has she recently gone through a loss or divorce? Or maybe she has a schedule that doesn’t permit travel? If there’s a woman in your life that is hurting or lonely, reach out and invite her to lunch, or to celebrate the season with you in some other way. Helping her will not only make you feel better, it will make you grateful for your challenges and opportunities.
It is important, especially during the holidays, to reach out to other women. Each of us needs to support other women everywhere – in our homes, workplace, community, nation, and the world. None of us are as creative, skilled, and powerful as we are together. There is a deep satisfaction and meaning that comes from helping others, so this season, wherever your passion lies, reach out and help make a difference in our world.
** Targets that need improvement: I don’t mean to depress you because of course you already know all this, but just for the record – the majority of women in the world are denied education, freedom from violence, economic security, and a voice in their communities. In fact, equality for many of the world’s women is still firmly set in the Dark Ages. Here in the U.S. poverty continues to be a women’s issue. Nearly six in ten poor adults are women, and nearly six in ten poor children live in families headed by women. Poverty rates are especially high for single mothers, women of color, and elderly women living alone. Women also still earn less than men and are bringing in only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, fill few government leadership roles, occupy less than 20 percent of corporate C-level jobs, and in their “personal time” assume the bulk of the responsibility for household and family chores. In all walks of life, many women struggle for equality, parity, education, and support on a daily basis.