Regular readers of this blog know that I am a proponent and practicer of gratitude. I make my gratitude practice a daily one, always trying to find the good in situations and to be thankful for the blessings of each experience. Thanksgiving Day is just one of many days to be thankful (albeit a tasty one :-)).
Yesterday, though, I learned a lesson about giving — the flip side of the thankful coin.
In the late afternoon, on the eve of hosting dinner for a dozen people, I found myself facing a plumbing emergency. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that Thanksgiving would have been compromised at best and ruined at worst had I not gotten help.
My plumber, a man who has been working on my house since Jay was an infant, drove a full hour in the opposite direction of his home in order to investigate. He called in the assistance of a friend of his, and both men were here until 9:00 p.m. on the night before Thanksgiving. Both of them have wives and children at home. They gave their assistance, not out of a desire for financial reward (both charged me their regular rates), but simply because they wanted to help make someone’s life better before a big day.
In short, they gave of their time, expertise, and talent on a day/evening when many others would have (justifiably) said no.
While reflecting on how grateful I was for their help, I thought about the difference between thanks and giving. Sure, we “give” thanks when we express our gratitude. But how much do we “give” of ourselves in the service of others? I’m not talking about material things so much as sharing our gifts, talents and time.
I now see thanks and giving as two sides of the same coin, and I am now going to give equal weight and reflection each week not only on what I am grateful for, but what I have given that others might be grateful for.
Today I am thankful for my family, and I am giving them a turkey dinner.
I hope you have a peaceful day full of thanksgiving regardless of whether you live in the U.S. or not. THANK YOU for reading this blog!Categories: Autumn, Cooking, Family, Friendship, Holidays, Thanksgiving · Tags: Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays, Thanks and Giving, Thanksgiving