Today is Thanksgiving in the USA. There are many myths perpetrated about this holiday and what was shared and eaten with the Native Americans. I’m not going to rehash history. One point I do want to emphasize is giving thanks for the many blessings and gifts we have to share. Here are a few of my blessings. Please count yours with me:
- Though I have lost my parents, I have one sibling remaining. We are not close but she is blood and in the end, is thicker than dislike, hurt feelings or disappointment. I am grateful to have family.
- For a loving husband of 20 years. Many spouses are widows/widowers. I count every day as an extra gift.
- For my dearest friend who is my light in the dark and my rock in a teary storm. She can be hard as stone and sometimes like cotton. And she cares about my well-being with a fierce loyalty. Now that’s a blessing.
- For health and all my limbs and senses. So many veterans, accident victims, diseased would give anything to be whole. I am beyond grateful.
- For food on the table. So many go hungry. So many….it gets hard to swallow when I dwell on it.
- For a warm hat, scarf and cape. Homeless are freezing and children going to school stand in the cold dark without a coat.
- For music and books and writing, for the ability to love and be loved.
Because I am well-blessed, I give to others. It’s easy really and I don’t mean to soapbox about charity, but it is simple. At the grocery store, I buy boxes to feed the homeless. A few boxes every week helps someone and costs me less than a gourmet coffee or two gallons of gas. At the UPS, I can spend a couple dollars and buy a “balloon” for the wall helping March of Dimes or Cancer Society. Again, easy and cheap but worthwhile.
Or go big. You can buy a child with a cleft palette lips to smile with and teeth to chew with. Operation Smile works miracles and doctors around the world are doing miracle pro bono work through them.
Donate furniture or clothes to Crisis Assistance Ministry, Kidney Foundation (even old cars!), Salvation Army, Goodwill, Second Harvest. Give of yourself and do a walk or a run for a well-known Foundation.
Or give a few cans of beans during the mailman’s drive, or a dollar to the boot of the local fireman. It is easy to give something to someone with nothing. We have so much….count your blessings by how many of them you can give to someone else and you will be rich beyond your dreams. Who knows, one day you might hope that someone will be giving so that you or one of your own might be helped.
Oh yes, and you’ll be a hero, too. And the world needs lots of heroes.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May your life be full with love, family and charity.