Day of Goodwill, 26 December, South Africa - What is goodwill?
Instead of Boxing Day, 26 December is known as the Day of Goodwill in South Africa. This is one of the many changes that were made by the South African government after the demolishment of Apartheid in 1994.
Day of Goodwill is the day for giving, and especially to the less fortunate.
This is, of course, exactly the definition of Boxing Day. "On December 25 you have given love, food, drinks and gifts to each other, you went to the limit, filling your heart, soul and body, and now what about those who are not as fortunate as you? On December 26 you should 'box' everything you don't need and give it away..."
South Africa merely renamed the day to define its purpose.
Giving to the poor is associated with material matters such as money, clothes, food, etcetera.
But giving these matters away is not necessary an act of goodwill. Most of the time we give away what we no longer need, or we give in order to kill our guilt, or just to feel better as giving indeed makes us happy.
Giving only becomes an act of goodwill when we do it with compassion - with that deep awareness of, and sympathy for, another's suffering and that sincere wanting to do something about it.
When goodwill is an act of compassion, we conquer our selfish human nature - that instinctive, primordial human nature that urges us to first take care of ourselves before considering the needs of others.
- Goodwill inspires us to give the things we still want away in order to fulfill the need of someone else.
- Goodwill is killing that greedy monster in us that makes us want more and more of what we have enough of.
How do we know the difference between 'want' and 'need'?
Easy! The purpose of the things we need is to survive, while the purpose of the things we want is to survive in style and comfort.
On the Day of Goodwill, we distinguish between our needs and wants, and we fulfill the needs of others. We do this with an attitude of love and charity and NOT only because we want to create space for more of our wants.
The Day of Goodwill is therefor a challenge we have to meet and not simply a day for cleaning up after Christmas.
Unlike giving a gift, which is a one-time or one-at-a-time action, goodwill is an abiding attitude of generous thoughts toward and for others, which obviously must evolve to fit ever-changing real-life situations. So the good will must find its ways to apply to those situations without losing its essential definition. It never is 'done' and never 'uses up'.— Nellieanna Hay
Goodwill should not be self-serving.— shanmarie
Relevant quotes about Goodwill
- You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give ~ Kahlil Gibran ”
- No one has ever become poor by giving. ~ Anne Frank.
- Give what you have to somebody; it may be better than you think. ~ Henry W. Longfellow.
- Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go. ~ Mother Teresa
- When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous. ~ Wayne Dyer
© Martie Coetser
Published: 26 December 2010
- 26 December 2013
- 26 December 2015
More about Goodwill and Charity
- The Charitable Spirit by Marcoujor
Are you a kind, compassionate and forgiving person?
- Perspectives: The Charitable Spirit: Kindness - Gene...
The backbone of a Charitable Spirit is ‘kindness’; the rest of a Charitable Spirit is ‘generosity’....
- Jandee - A cold christmas day in Island of Jersey
A peep into 1974 I remember it was snowing still. It had snowed for a few days and was thick on the ground. The streets were icy and slippery and I just didn't want to go out. No matter how much planning and...
© 2010 Martie Coetser