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Thursday, October 2, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 64.0° F  Overcast
The Paper
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Be a giver

It's beginning to look a lot not like Christmas. It's looking more like a very pleasant stretch of weather in late February or early March. The reason for this climatological aberration may be global warming, El Niño or some other phenomenon, but it doesn't change the fact that come Sunday, it is Christmas.

That being the case, I and the staff of Isthmus would like to wish you and yours a happy, healthy holiday fortnight - oh heck, let's just extend that for a full year, until we can do it again in 2012. A year from now maybe we'll be back in the white Christmas business again.

Back to this week and this issue. It is the season for giving, and our cover story cites a prime exemplar of that ethic. Author Nathan J. Comp profiles one of the generous people in a city that is replete with them. According to Comp's account, Mary Burke is extraordinarily generous. Of course, you might say she has been extraordinarily blessed by circumstances, but Comp's article indicates that her circumstances were hugely enhanced by industriousness, intelligence and a good upbringing.

Regardless of circumstances, we all have it within ourselves to be generous and to hold the wellbeing of others to be as important as our own. And we all can activate that generosity on some scale, the size being irrelevant to the spirit. If ever there were a time of year to engender that spirit, this is it.

It is a time for family, friends and goodwill toward all. It is a time to put aside politics and confrontation. It is a time to contemplate the communality of humanity. It is a religious holiday, commemorating the birth of a man who preached love and generosity. In receiving, we should be mindful of those who give and seek to be among them.

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