November 21, 2011

After Thanks, What Are You Giving?

To give thanks is not merely the act of gratitude; it is also the gift of sharing the bounty, as well.”

Someone got me on this thought the other day.  With the celebration of Thanksgiving just around the corner, it seemed as good a time to share this with you.

A beggar was sitting by the side of the road when a successful businessman walked by.  The beggar caught the man’s attention and he reached into his pocket and handed him a $5 bill.  The beggar thanked him and he went on his way.  The following week, the businessman happened across the same beggar.  This time the man reached into his pocket and handed the beggar two $1 bills.  As the man started to walk away the beggar called out to him and said, “What’s up?  Last week you gave me $5.  This week you gave me $2.”  With that the businessman looked at him and said, “Sorry, I had a bad week,” and walked away.

Many of you may be thinking about the nerve of the beggar not being satisfied with either gift, no matter how generous.  Let me offer an alternative thought: Is what you give dependent upon how things are going?  Was an additional $3 really going to make that much of a difference to the businessman?  Could his week have really been that bad? Do the size of our gifts need to be connected to how well we are doing?

This is a great thought as we prepare for the holiday season.  It is not always easy to give of ourselves.  Sometimes it seems that we have more time, more energy, or more money to give.  And, when the timing is right, it is always easy to give more.  What happens to our giving when the time isn’t right?  Do we change our commitment, our giving, our support just because things aren’t going good enough for us?

As you take time to give thanks for what you have, for your journey, for your blessings, and for your gifts we need to always be prepared to share those gifts with others.  While it may not always be easy to be there for someone else, we would hope and expect others to be there for us when we need them.  It is being aware of our obligation to love, support, educate, help, and guide through our gifts that will change the world.  Being committed to sharing our gifts and talents and lessons with others is not dependent on having a good week, it is dependent upon our willingness to be there regardless of the circumstances.

As you celebrate this Thanksgiving remember these two things: Your gratitude for all that you have, all that you are, and all that you have learned.  And, your willingness to give and to share these lessons, experiences, and gifts with others whenever the opportunity arises.  We can all make a significant different in our lives and in the lives of those around us when we reach out to appreciate and offer our gifts.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.