Look what Santa gave me? Keithie’s been salivating over it since I brought it back from an all girls Chrissie drinkies at Jane’s place on Nine Mile Beach.
Jane’s one of those salt of the earth women who makes you feel like you want to be a better person without making you feel bad about who you are. Don’t get me wrong, she’s no saint, but she is seriously generous and all 12 of us left her party with one of these stunningly hand crafted gingerbread houses.
As I was driving home I got thinking about what giving means and who does it best. One of Keithie’s shearer’s was whinging last week about how every Xmas his three sisters, all older and married with kids, produce just one gift from the whole family and yet he’s expected to give gifts to each of the kids.
You could argue that since Xmas is really for kids he should just put and shut up but I say those sisters are pretty smart – let’s face it, it’s taken him 15 years to figure out he’s getting the raw end of the deal. Still, he’ll get the last laugh: this year he’s giving each family a subscription to an online storage facility so they can keep all their precious photos and important papers safe from fire or other disaster! Ripper mate!
But seriously, when you think about it generosity is everywhere. There’s the obvious people like the rich and famous: Mel Gibson, George Lucas, Meryl Streep, Barbara Streisand, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Taylor Swift to name a few.
And then there’s Warren Buffett who’s in a league of his own as one of the world’s richest men who has given most of his wealth to people all across the globe who are suffering and sick. He even came out against greed during the GFC, arguing that it wasn’t fair his secretary had to pay a higher tax rate than him!
The thing about generosity is that it often goes hand in hand with courage and some of the most generous people not only lack celebrity status they’re also …wait for it…women working at the coalface, chipping away at their little piece of the world, trying to make it a better place for their kids.
So, by the time Keithie arrived for afternoon tea yesterday, I was all fired up and made him listen while I recited my top 10 generous people – in no particular order – of 2012:
1. First on my list is E L James whose erotica has liberated most of my friends and millions of mothers all over the world.
2. Second is Cami Anderson who has dedicated her career to freeing children all over the USA from believing they can’t achieve because they were born on the wrong side of the tracks.
Then there’s those incredible women who put their lives on the line for other women:
4. Manal al-Sharif who posted video of herself on YouTube driving around Saudi streets! (Keithie doesn’t believe women aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia; he thinks I’m having a lend of him!)
5. Aung Sann Su Kyi who, even though she’s uber, uber famous, is a living, evolving reminder that world peace can happen as long as we all keep believing.
6. Dame Elizabeth Murdoch who spent her entire life caring for others because, she believed, that is how to create happiness.
7. Jan Cameron Tassie’s wildlife and animal welfare hero. Louie says thank you Jan!
8. Dolly the sheep for her extraordinary contribution to science! (Yeah, I know, she’s long gone but we can’t leave Louie out of this altogether!)
9. Camilla Byrne, Swansea’s GP and Keithie’s heartthrob, who singlehandedly raised money to build a swimming pool to teach the kids in our little seaside community how to swim.
And last but not least:
10. Julia Gillard, our PM and Keithie’s other heartthrob, for generously leaving Tony Abbott’s balls intact during that stunning misogyny speech to the Parliament that went viral on YouTube – Go Julia!
At the conclusion of my list Keithie, being a man of few words, “done a grin”, to quote Keithie, then reached over and tore the door off the gingerbread house!
Thanks Jane….it’s tops!