Each year, between November 1st and December 31, people focus on thanking and giving…… just in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Thinking of others is good, but thanking and giving are not relegated to a season. Thanking and giving are for everyday.
The Bible says:
“[i]n everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1Thessalonians 5:18
Think you have no one to thank or no reason to thank everyday? Well, for a moment, sit back and see yourself standing on a street corner with nothing but the clothes you have on right now. Imagine you have no home, no possessions, no job, no money, no family and no friends. Also imagine no one sees you and no one acknowledges you. Now… do you someone (s) to thank or a reason (s) to thank everyday??? Yes, you do. Thanking is a way of acknowledging another person and it is a way of remembering you don’t do it all by yourself.
And yes, thanking belongs in the workplace. I know… the secretary or tech support person or your boss is “doing their job”. But thanking someone in the workplace for “doing their job” tells them they are appreciated. Studies have shown that it also improves morale in the workplace and we could all use that. So thank your family member for answering the phone, thank the bus driver, thank the person who holds the door for you. And of course, thank God for everything in your life whether big or small. Be sincere. And while you are at it, try adding a sincere “I appreciate what you do!” Watch and see how much joy you bring to the other person. I have said this to people working at the checkout in stores. I get a big smile in return and the joy of helping someone feel better.
Giving is akin to thanking. It too reminds you that you are not in the world all by yourself. The Bible says:
“There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.” Proverbs 11:24 and
“He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.” Proverbs 22:9
I have learned that giving impacts both the giver and the recipient in a positive way. Of course, the recipient feels good about receiving the item that was given, but the giver also feels good because the recipient feels good. A couple of years ago, my children decided they were ready to start departing with things that belonged to their deceased father. He was a true clothes horse with expensive tastes and had more than three closets full of suits, ties, shirts, sport jackets, slacks, jeans, coats, jackets, sweaters, braces (suspenders), belts, and more. So they started with his clothes. After taking what they wanted to keep, we took 2 carloads of clothes to a local men’s shelter on Christmas Eve. When we returned home, my daughter told me how warm, happy and content she felt taking the clothes to the shelter and in seeing the men’s excitement at receiving the clothes. We later found out that one man wore one of the suits to a job interview and got the job!
Giving doesn’t always involve money. You can give your time, your talents, your skills, the list is endless. Here is a website I use all the time to give. (Go to www.yahoo.com/groups and type in “freecycle” in the yahoo group search box). Freecycling is the recycling brand new or barely used things that you no longer need to other people who have a need for them. Find a Freecycle group in your area and join. Through Freecycle, I received a brand-new computer keyboard after I destroyed mine with milk and cereal, and brand-new ink cartridges for my printer. I have given away books, pet supplies, photo albums and yes, we also used Freecycle to give away some of his clothes. See what happens for you. The point is to give something every day. You will end up not with less, but with more.
Before I end this post, let me extend a warm “Thank You” to you for reading and sharing my blog!
Question for Comment: Do you agree that thanking and giving should be practiced everyday? How do you feel when you are thanked or are given something? Do you have any suggestions on how thanking and giving can be incorporated into everyday life?
(originally posted January 5, 2011)