Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US. If you are reading this, you have a computer and internet. You probably also have a home, heat, and food. If you are a regular reader, you may also have cash to tide you over a rough spot, a stockpile of food, and a network of friends and family members to depend on in an emergency. Many people don't have some of these things, while others in your own city may have NONE of these things. Thanksgiving, fortunately one of the least commercial holidays of the year, reminds us to be thankful for the things that we do have. Here's some things to do on this special day:
  • Write a list of what you are thankful for and keep it in your wallet. Sometimes when things are going to crap, you may want to take out the list and remind yourself that things aren't as bad as they seem.
  • If you are going out to eat, leave the waiter/waitress as big a tip as you can ($10, $20. $50, even $100!). More than likely they would rather be with their family but really need to work--this gesture would make their day!
  • Give to the homeless. I don't mean writing a check and mailing it to an organization, I mean cooking up some food or gathering up some warm clothes and going out to find where the homeless are gathered in your city (usually churches, the Salvation Army, etc) and giving them tangible items such as food or clothes that they can use.
  • Vow to have a great attitude and exceptional patience today. The holidays can get crazy and stressful, just for today, don't let anything bother you.
  • Volunteer. If you are alone, or want to experience the holiday with your family in a different way, consider volunteering at a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or other place that serves the hungry. It will be an enlightening experience for all.
  • Take a plate of food or a special dessert to an elderly neighbor, the single mother with a passel of kids, or the family whose mom is ill or father is jobless; a little giving will go a long way to make the day better for all.

We all have a lot to be thankful for. While most of the other days of the year we are all about preparedness for us and ours, do something out of the ordinary to make this day something to remember for ourselves and others in our community.

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