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This Holiday Season, Foster The Spirit Of Giving By Wishing For Others, Not Yourself

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s that time of year again, when the shopping malls are decked out in full Christmas gear and ‘Jingle Bells’ blares from every available speaker. It’s a wonderful period that brings many people back to their childhood, where the only worries to be had was which Christmas classic to watch, and how to spend your snow day off.  And even once you’ve grown up, it’s still really tempting to wonder just what you’ll get under the tree.  Will it be a gaming console?  A new set of tools for the garage? Socks?

Well, the one thing that’s even nicer than receiving a present is giving one; wishing for yourself is great, but wishing for others is even better. To encourage people to just that, Capital One is launching a campaign called Wish For Others, where you’re asked to share with the world what you’d like to see someone else receive, whether it’s a close friend, a family member, or anyone close to your heart.  The best part of  #WishForOthers is that they’ll actually grant some of them!

So when they asked me what I’d wish for someone else, I had no choice but to think of my lifelong friend JS.  I’ve know the guy since I’m 6 years old and he’s the closest thing I have to a brother.  However, him and I were dealt a very different set of cards at birth (not that my life was that great, incidentally).  His parents were mostly absent and divorced at 8, when hey chose to send him to schools for kids with behavioural issues.  This exacerbated his temperament and he never ended up graduating high school.  Through many bad decisions he ended up using drugs and eventually started showing signs of mental illness.  Throughout his 20’s he spent time in and out of mental institutions and it’s only recently, in his early 30s, that he’s started to stabilize.  But he’s a broken man who lives barely above the poverty line, has few social skills and even less prospects for the future.

Despite this history, I know him to be a kindhearted person, caring endlessly for his grandmother and friends.  He’s never harmed anyone and I know all he really wants is a normal life with a wife and kids.  While those goals may be slightly unrealistic at the moment, I can say that the pillar of our friendship, the one thing we shared over the 28 years we’ve known one another, is gaming.  From 1988 onwards, we played together on every console that came on the market.  I’d buy them, and he’d come over for days to play. It was the one common ground we always shared, and it’s cemented our friendship, troubled as it might have been. Now of course he still plays, but he does so on a cathode ray television (the big ole’ boxes of old) and an Xbox 360. It’s all he can afford. So… that’s my wish for JS.  I’d love to see him play on a proper HDTV and an Xbox One.  It’s not much in relation to all the other things he’s missing, but it gives him a bit of joy in an otherwise pretty bleak life.
So what would you wish for others? You can enter Capital One’s contest in many different ways.  You can share your wish for others in Twitter or Instagram, while using the hashtag #WishForOthers.  You can also visit @CapitalOne’s Facebook page and enter there.  If you’re curious about what’s going on with the campaign and want to get more details, simply go to their website, Wish For Others.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to brighten up someone’s holiday season, whether or not they end up winning your wishes for them.

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