In the spirit of the holidays, the beijingkids editorial team decided to explore the charitable efforts that are being made to help promote giving and community in and around the capital. On our journey, we met many kind and thoughtful people who share the important sentiment that it is more rewarding to give than to receive. This is a difficult concept for many, in a world that can seem very often “me first”.
Time is one of the most important gifts you can be giving this holiday season. No, we aren’t talking about going out there and buying a wall clock and gifting it to all of your acquaintances in Beijing. That would actually be a big no-no, and not bring the cheery effect that you are likely shooting for. The gifting of a clock symbolizes that you crave the untimely demise of your chosen recipient. The gift of actual time, however, whether it be your attention or your physical and emotional presence, is something that will be remembered and can be given easily to family members or people in your community if you just put forth the effort.
How many times have you heard that cliché phrase “time is money”? How often do you scroll through inspirational messages on social media stating how time is the one thing that money can’t buy back, so you need to make full use of it? While these statements are definitely saying the obvious, time is too often wasted on menial things that don’t really matter in the long run.
Time is one of the most important gifts you can be giving this holiday season. (Here are the print and alternate covers of this month’s issue.)
While we support you running off to the nearest orphanage on a regular basis to help out and donate much-needed supplies, the gift of time is also something that can begin at home. As many parents already know, undivided attention is one of the essential things you will need to be providing if you want to maintain healthy relationships with everyone in your family. We all know how easy it is, especially after a busy day in the office, to just plop down in front of a TV and shut your brain off for a few hours while binge-watching your favorite shows. Frequently, we also let work get in the way of precious moments in the evening or weekends meant for family, as we are all only a WeChat message away from the office at any given moment. Do yourself a favor and make a concentrated effort to find a balance in the upcoming new year.
This issue of beijingkids is focused on charity and goodwill in the capital, and the people who decided to sacrifice their precious time to show that they care and to help improve an area of life for people that are being neglected or falling through society’s cracks. This holiday season, plan your time wisely and make being present a priority over those big presents that will eventually pile up and slowly fade into disuse. Use the weeks ahead to get closer with your friends, family, and community, and finally, make memories instead of shooting off to the nearest mall to shop for them.
This article first appeared in the beijingkids December 2018 Charity and Goodwill issue.
Photo: Fang Yifei