The Christmas season has one particular feature that highlights its significance in the midst of gross commercialism that characterizes its observance. To some, the religious flavor of the One who gave us his life as the supreme gift to save mankind from eternal damnation and condemnation is a factor that sets afire people’s their generosity and inspires them look outward with the thought of sharing.
The world has been besieged by calamity after calamity which has put to the limit the giving attitude of some. The inherently benevolent, however, do not experience the donor fatigue that sets in when the demands to share come in quick succession from the many parts of the world hit by various kinds’ never-ending maladies.
The Philippines has had its fair share of these catastrophes which tested the limits of its people who have been subjected to massive series devastations. Still, is spite of the “donor fatigue” syndrome, Filipinos in various parts of the world never fail to come to aid of their kin back home hit by series of misfortunes.
In spite of the anomalies that surrounded the shipments of balikbayan boxes in the Philippines, the “more fortunate ones” gamble to have their boxes shipped. Many take the safer and faster route by remitting money instead through remittance centers which have mushroomed in time for the season,
Gift-giving in the U.S. is one tradition transplanted by early European immigrants “to preserve the celebrations of their home countries and which has been tainted by gross commercialism, thanks to the business genius of retailers. The U.S. is a great nation of abundance, literally “a land flowing with milk and honey” as well the cradle of the “most generous people in the world” matched surprisingly by Myanmar, a developing country on the other side of the globe.
The World Giving Index which looks at generous behavior of 135 countries has the United States and Myanmar tied for the distinction of being the most giving country in 2014. The survey scored the participating countries’ benevolence which measured the percentage of people “who donate in a typical month to charity, volunteer time and help a stranger”.
As compiled by Charities Aid Foundation, an international organization, the U.S. which improved its score from 61 percent to 64 percent of the survey period is the “only country to be ranked in the top 10 for all areas of the giving behavior.
Myanmar which scored 91 percent attributes its ranking in the index “to the high proportion of people donating money and to the strong Theravada Buddhist community which has more than half a million monks receiving support from lay devotees”.
Likewise, Americans rank significantly on the world’s top 20 donors contributing to hundreds of causes. These people have a combined donation amounting to a whopping $106.8 billion. The world’s top philanthropists include: Dietmar Hopp, Pierre Omidyar, Michael Dell, James Simons, Ted Turner, Jon Huntsman Sr., Li Ka-shing, Mark Zuckerberg, Paul Allen, Michael Bloomberg, George Kaiser, Eli Broad, Carlos Slim Helú, Gordon Moore, Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi, Charles Francis Feeney, Azim Premji, George Soros, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates.
From American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie who set the standard for giving back once said:”No man can become rich without himself enriching others.”