(Alternative Spring Break, 2009; Photo Courtesy of Shamekia Jenkins)
It’s that’s time of the year again. Time to prepare the fixins,’ pretend to actually get along with your in-laws, and fry up the turkeys, but it’s also the one time of the year where being thankful is heavily celebrated. Wait a minute! Hold it right there! Isn’t everyday Thanks-giving? Reason to be grateful for loved ones, having shelter, food, and life? I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but there are so many out there who have very little. I have to admit, I’m not always grateful for the things that I already have and many times I want more of the luxuries that I don’t need, but aside from the materialistic view of things, I sometimes feel guilty for not giving back to others as much as I would like.
While in college, I spent several weeks volunteering in Atlanta, Georgia during Spring Break, teaching English to Spanish speakers, entertaining the youth, and pounding the pavement searching for homeless men and women to provide food and support. Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to have basic necessities and great relationships with family and friends. Food, water, hugs, and laughs may not seem like much to many people, but for some it could be the one thing that changes their lives for the good. When was the last time you smiled at or held the door open for a stranger? How did it feel when someone did something nice for you? I’m sure you said thank you, of course momma and daddy would not have it any other way. Isn’t that right?
Small acts of kindness are freaking awesome. I’m a firm believer that when you give from your heart, you have the power to make the world a better place (or at least more bearable for the time being). I know that is a “cheesy” thing to say, but oh, well! So while you’re holding grudges against family or friends who did not meet minor expectations or praying and wishing you had a better life, take a deep breath and look around you. Life isn’t perfect and neither are we mere mortals, but we’re alive and able to make a difference and positive changes in the lives of others.
Starting right now, list five things that you are grateful for. Do this everyday until Thanksgiving and then share your list with your family or someone else on Turkey Day.
Please support The Andrew P Stewart Center (above photo) at http://www.stewartcenter.org