The Magic of Season of Giving Lies in Love
The Christmas carols on the streets, the snow falling on your cheeks, the taste of hot cocoa on your lips, those cozy December weeks, and the view of the snowy mountain peaks materialize and elicit the magic of Christmas. With the Season of Giving underway, we need to remind ourselves of the purpose of giving back – in particular, why we need to give back, what it means to us, and what it means to others. The connection we can establish with others and the reciprocity of goodness make Christmas so special.
The magic of Christmas in her cold, but yet so warm, embrace makes us return to the valuable intangible emotions we can feel with our loved ones. The time we spend with them makes us realize how minor everything else is compared to love – the love that never disappears and lies in everyone’s hearts no matter the race, gender, nationality, and education. Does the magic of the Season of Giving lie in love? I certainly believe so – the magic lies in the open-heartedness towards others’ emotions and the pursuit of selflessness. Love lights the way – the way to my heart, the way to your heart, and the way to our hearts.
The way I see it, love is the most invaluable intangible emotion in the entire world which can be explained neither with math nor with logic. The more you try to explain it, the more it will confuse you. See, in math adding one and one makes two, while in love adding one and one makes one.
Love is in the stranger who approaches you on the street during a winter storm to gift you warm coffee, love is in the flight attendant who sees you are freezing and gives you not one, but two blankets, love is in the ‘Thank you’ coming from one of your students, and love is in your parents hugging you at the airport when they haven’t seen you in a year. Love is found in the little and small gestures that come from the heart but might change someone else’s universe.
And, it is not about measuring love in currencies, it is not about measuring it with financial assets, and it is not about money. It is about the desire to truly and honestly help others out, the desire to create a better world in which everyone not only survives and exists but also lives.
If I once believed in a perfect world, now I believe in a better world – a world for which we are all willing to work, rather than separately hold onto our egos, on something that might benefit all of us. To create this better world, we need to take care of future generations.
We need to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to receive an education which is the foundation of an independent-thinking and responsible citizen of this world.
We need to ensure that every child’s voice is respected and heard rather than framed into some stereotypical and highly-accepted ideas and notions. High-quality education doesn’t simply entail memorization of concepts. It encaptures the application of gained knowledge. High-quality education allows children to follow their passions rather than be forced into certain career paths that they do not necessarily want to pursue. It allows children to dream wildly rather than allow them to just find a job.
High-quality education promotes innovative research from all types of institutions – one that will move academia ahead regardless of the name of the university or the name of the person publishing. It works for the well-being, happiness, and success of every student rather than for the failure of some students.
According to Professor Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning American economist and the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, early childhood education is the most efficient way to accomplish an economic future that depends on providing the tools for upward mobility and building a highly educated, skilled workforce through his analysis of the Perry Preschool program – the program earns a 7% to 10% Return on Investment based on increased school and career achievement, reduced remedial education, and health and criminal justice system expenditures (Perry et al., 2010).
Because I believe in a better world, one in which education is accessible to every child, in the power not only of early childhood education but also of all levels of education to close the wealth and opportunity inequality gap, and in the values that the Novak Djokovic Foundation represents, including love, teamwork, respect, strength, and perseverance, I have sought to become a part of their family, and I am so happy that I have made this decision.
Having started with a small dream and having been lucky enough to pursue an education at no cost, when other students have equally deserved this same opportunity, I believe in the power of education to recognize that every child is special and deserves to be educated, nurtured, cared for, and respected. Because I realize that I cannot give back with anything but my time and care, I feel fulfilled and accomplished every time I interact with my students and every time I write a blog post for the Novak Djokovic Foundation Blog.
Giving back to my students and writing for the NDF blog make my heart complete.
Christmas certainly makes us remember to give back. Giving back, however, transcends the seasons and makes us return to the present moment. Now is the only moment when we can give back and express our love toward others because once the moment passes, love might fly away, as well. Let us remember that love entails giving back and that giving back entails giving small pieces of our hearts to others. This Christmas season let us open our hearts to peace, love, and happiness, and give small pieces of our hearts to our loved ones, and those in need. Donate at this link to give children in Serbia access to high-quality education.