By Richard P. Holm MD
We're right on the heels of the Holiday season, and all that goes with it: the decorations, the marketing, the catalogs, and all the busy shoppers. Indeed, it is the retailers profit time. And kids love it too, as it is a time to get, get, get… What's more it's also the end of the year when every fundraiser is calling for another donation. Everyone seems on the take.
But for every "take" there is a give, which is what truly makes this season such a special time. For it is giving which causes most of the warm feelings, fond memories, and spiritual meaning. Kids grow up to be parents who love the season even more than their children, because it is give, give, give.
In a book entitled Who Really Cares? Arthur Brooks writes, "Tangible evidence suggests that charitable giving makes people prosperous, healthy, and happy." He tells us that giving (and that means donating time or money) seems to be the ultimate source of our greatest wealth and happiness, and that we simply do best, as a nation, when people are free and they freely give.
Brooks states that four characteristics generally define the most generous. The biggest givers are family oriented, churchgoers, hard workers, and skeptical of the government. He compares giving in areas of our country, and it's interesting to note that the people of South Dakota give more time or money as a percentage of wealth than any other region of the country. Somehow that doesn't surprise me.
In that spirit, I would like to point out that without a lot of giving, our TV show "On Call with the Prairie Doc" would not be possible. Our sponsors have given funding, SDSU has given personnel and vision, many patients have been willing to be on camera, and the doctors of the state have given unselfishly of their time and expertise.
'Tis the season to be thankful for all the giving that's been goin' on 'round here.
Take home message:
1. You get what you give, and then some;
2. Prairie people are some of the biggest givers in the country;
3. This is to say thank you to all who have given to On Call with the Prairie Doc, which makes it possible.