**Article extracted from Elephant Journal 6 Lessons Santa Teaches us better than any \’Guru\’
If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~ Bob Hope
Whether Santa is real or not really doesn’t matter, as he has been endowed with some remarkable qualities that we can all learn from. In fact, in many ways, he is better able to show us true spirituality than even the average guru.
1. He asks us to be good. Which is significant considering many of us so often act selfishly and greedily. By being good he means being kind, being generous, being considerate and thoughtful.
He gives to everyone, whoever and wherever they are, all at pretty much the same time. And he does it without asking for anything in return (except for the odd glass of milk and cookies). This indicates he has a truly generous heart, one that takes great joy in giving without needing to receive. Which is a very important lesson, as giving with no expectation of getting is the quickest route to happiness. Through giving to others, a la Santa, we get away from selfishness and neediness.
2. Yet he does not give blindly. Rather he considers what is the most appropriate gift for each. This shows great discernment. Too often we give without thinking (like giving candy to a starving child when what they need is food), so here Santa shows us how giving needs wisdom in order to be of most benefit.
3. He listens to our requests and reads our letters. Meaning that he takes the time to hear and pay attention, which we could all do a lot more of. How often do we really listen to someone without judging them, or without imposing our own thoughts on them or telling them what we think is right for them?
4. He has great psychic powers: flies in the sky with reindeer, descends chimneys without getting covered in soot, goes by many names and forms, and is extraordinarily elusive. Has anyone actually ever seen him? The lesson here is that we can all do more than we think we can, and we don’t need to be applauded. We can practice random acts of kindness quietly, simply, without bringing attention to ourselves.
5. He’s filled with joy and lifts our spirits at the darkest time. And we can do the same for each other. No need to spread doom and gloom, no need to focus on what is wrong with ourselves or the world. By focusing on what is good we not only bring a lightness of spirit to others, but we also get to feel a lot better too.
6. He knows where we live. In other words, he is inside every one of us. Santa is our true, authentic self that is there when we can let go of our ego-centered needs.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill
Happy Holidays and Happy Giving! (written by Ed & Deb Shapiro)