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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Awakening Humanity

Dec 03, 2014 12:44AM

Holly Baker

Our theme this month is Christmas. Yay, presents! No, it’s Awakening Humanity. Yay, presents! Yes, it is really better to give than to receive, especially to someone that doesn’t expect it. Why do you think that is? We have a great story this issue, “Combating Compassion Fatigue at the Shelter,” written by Lee Bucyk, the executive director of the nonprofit Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter and Sanctuary, that describes just one kind of overload and even burnout that generosity sometimes engenders this time of year and how to avoid it.

I know that it’s fun for kids to give Santa a list of toys they want, but we probably overdo it and are breeding future shopaholics. We tell ourselves that the spirit is the thing, and then load up the trunk with gifts and goodies anyway. This year, why not actually do something nice and unexpected for somebody in need? Charitable giving has been down the past few years because of the poor economy, but things are looking up; if you’ve got a few bucks to spare, donate.

Volunteering might be even better (or do both), because you can get closer to the people you’re helping and seen the reality of their situation firsthand. My favorite nonprofit here in Tucson is Eagles Wings of Grace, a Christ-centered ministry that provides women with professional, fashionable clothing so they feel confident on a job interview. Whatever the type of job or situation, the Eagles fashion consultants are passionate about blessing their clients with a fighting chance at success.

They also provide career development tools and a network of support for the purpose of restoring dignity and hope, empowering women to transition from devastation to destiny and develop economic independence, wisdom, self-esteem and practical life skills. There’s a lot more, and you can visit to volunteer or donate. Don’t do it just because you will feel great about yourself for being compassionate, but you will. In this spirit, be sure to read our feature story, “Sacred Activism: Love in Action Can Change the World,” by Judith Fertig.

This month, we continue our popular Artist Profile series with a spotlight on Diana Madaras. The award-winning painter has produced a new coffee table book, Private Spaces, that will give readers an insight into her muse. If that’s not enough, check out “Opening Up to Miracles: Gabrielle Bernstein on Creating more Miracles,” by April Thompson.

No, we haven’t forgotten Christmas—how could you think such a thing? In our Conscious Eating department, “Happy feasting for All: Tasty Rituals that Deepen the Holiday Spirit,” writer Lane Vail offers a new and inspiring perspective on the season.

However you celebrate the season, we at Natural Awakenings wish you well for the holidays and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.


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