The holiday season is upon us. Office parties, home parties, and family dinners, as well as vacations to pleasant destinations. Let the festivities begin.During this joyous time everyone is busy buying and exchanging gifts, almost to a point of draining their budgets for the coming years.People enjoying the spirit of giving and helping those who never before did any charitable work are working soup kitchens, buying, and gifting food to the needy.This spirit extends to strangers we meet in stores, restaurants, and on the streets. All are wishing each other Happy Holidays.No one stops to wonder, what color you are, what religious beliefs you practice, your political leanings, or whether you are rich or poor, none of that matters. We just feel good about the season and it makes us happy to be festive and pleasant to our fellow man.This time of giving starts around Thanksgiving and lasts till the New Year. It’s almost like the birds returning from migration. Every year just as the birds return for their season and leave afterwards we humans, without fail, return to our everyday life leaving all the spirit of giving behind. It’s almost like Pavlov’s dog.Unfortunately for the next 10 months it’s back to our old habits-dog eat dog, bigotry, political discord, along with the attitude of me rather than us.How can society be so programmed, how can people who just a short time ago celebrated and were humble all become mean spirited and unwilling to help others?We as people generally are all about ourselves and tend to treat others according to their likes, dislikes, religious beliefs and, believe it or not, their financial worth.Folks, giving is not what comes in a beautifully wrapped box. A gift of that kind of giving is expected. In many cases these gifts aren’t even enjoyed by the recipient. It is more of a social responsibility then a joyful act.So what is the true meaning of giving and receiving? Giving is what we give to others from our heart, it’s not tangible.How you treat people of all levels of life, how you give back to society, and how you handle your family and all other situations of your personal life is the true measure of who you are.Today, as I sit here writing this, it is 11/11 Veterans Day. Talking about guilty, there is no greater gift the American public can receive then the gift given to us by our men and women in the armed forces.They put their lives on the line so we can enjoy the freedom that no other country has. Unappreciative citizens in return burn and disrespect the flag and try to humiliate our soldiers, yet despite their lack of appreciation these soldiers keep fighting to protect our freedoms and their rights to display their ignorance and disdain for the only country that allows them to do what they do.To all service men and women – vets and active, I thank you for giving me 81 years of peace and freedom. Without you selflessly giving, we the people would all be enslaved.Giving is therapeutic. Believe it or not, it heals the soul, gives us inner peace, and reduces stress.For one to give of themselves to others is the ultimate measure of self-worth.People must appreciate what they have, not agonize over what they don’t. This attitude will lead to inner feelings of failure and create inner conflict leading to stress and a lack of inner peace. Ultimately this inner turmoil leads to poor health, unhappy relationships, a feeling of failure, and lack of self-worth.When one gives, one receives. The universe will return your generosity. It will give to you good health, self-worth, inner peace and loving relationships- all adding up to a successful life.So as we begin this holiday season let’s try it, it won’t hurt, and do not be surprised if it changes your whole life.May you and your families have a blessed holiday season and then some.