It’s the season of thankfulness, giving, helping in soup kitchens, adopting families, frying turkeys, making Christmas yummies, visiting Santa, and so much more. One of the greatest attributes of Americans is our love of giving, and not just during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. We have always been a country that gives and for that I am proud. Giving puts us at our best and rejuvenates humanity.
It’s also the season of shopping. Finding the perfect gift for each person can be complicated. Black Friday – busy malls – online – packages…
Here are a few things you can give that won’t cost you anything but could change your or someone else’s life.
Yesterday I was waiting to check out at Walmart. Two ladies in front of me had 2 buggies full of toys to donate to the Toys for Tots drive. In front of them was a sweet older gentleman with batteries in his hand. In front of him, was a middle-aged woman who for whatever reason was having an issue with her debit/credit card. Embarrassed, the woman was trying to remove items to get to the point where the transaction would go through. I felt the tension mounting in the 2 ladies in front of me who prior to the issue had been full of Christmas cheer, telling me all that they were doing in this season of giving. “Honestly, this is ridiculous. Can you deal with her later? We’ve got to get this to the school before 3:00,” one of them said to the cashier. And the two started. There wasn’t time. People need to manage their money better. You’re holding up the line, etc.
The cashier picked up an item that might help lower the cost to which the woman with tears in her eyes explained, “No. That’s for my son. I have to mail it today. He’s overseas. Military.” The gentleman behind her with the batteries simply walked forward, scanned his card, and whispered, “Merry Christmas.”
The woman, overwhelmed by his kindness, quietly thanked him. “My pleasure,” he said. When she left, he turned to the two women behind him with the buggy of toys, “There’d be no toys to give and no purpose to give them if not for the sacrifice of that woman and her son. I hope you make your deadline.”
If we act out when others need our support, what good are we? What is the point of giving if we can’t behave in line at Walmart? The greatest gift we can give is understanding. George Washington Carver stated, “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. ”
For – Giving.
It is the season for giving – yes – but also forgiving. Bitterness dwells in the hearts of so many of us and once rooted sprouts and spreads to every part of our being. Often we remark, “I can’t forgive them. They’ve just done too much damage.” You are right. They have. And continue to do so until you let it go and move on. I received a letter via email recently from a woman who had done something against me years ago. I remember thinking when I started reading the email, “Who is this?” As I read the words, the feelings of hurt and pain came back to me. I did remember what she had done but Praise God I had forgiven her long ago to the point that initially I didn’t even remember who she was.
Forgiveness is not for the person who harmed us. It is for us – to prevent clogging of the arteries around the heart, and I don’t mean plaque.
There is a quote, “Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” Smiles do so much for humanity. They are non-threatening ways to communicate with others. They demonstrate acceptance, compassion, and understanding. As you shop, work, go to school functions, parties, and church, take the time to smile at people. One smile can change a person’s day. One smile can give hope to someone. Smile even if it is the last thing you want to do.
Saying ‘thank you” is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. Write a letter. Give him or her a call. But take the time to let someone know he or she is valuable in your life. Tell them how much you appreciate who he or she is. Life happens in fast motion. All too soon, what we should have said to someone, we don’t say and then it is too late.
This one goes without explanation. Time is the most valuable asset you can give. Take the time to listen, to laugh, to love, to celebrate, to remember, to cherish, and to appreciate. It is our greatest commodity.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our Now Habersham readers.