Here are several ways we can implement the spirit of appreciation:
Be a better citizen. Perhaps we and many of our fellow Alabamians did not get the candidates elected that we wanted in the recent election. We can pout, badmouth the winners and refuse to cooperate with them. That type of attitude is not productive, though. Instead, we should show appreciation for all of those who choose to serve in office and cooperate with them. Furthermore, we should involve ourselves in the governmental processes needed to make positive changes in our daily lives.
Honor writers by reading more. Surely all of us realize one way to open up our hearts and minds is to read more worthwhile books. When we think of the positive impact that others have on us, such as family members, teachers, ministers and friends, we should realize that authors also impact us and make us better people. We honor them by reading their words.
Dare to experience inner growth. A friend and I recently talked about the impact our lives will likely have on others after we are dead. We concluded that the traits we will probably impart are mostly intangible, lasting values that have little to do with money, cars, houses, and other “things.” We concluded that we should spent more time implementing into our lives wisdom, patience, wholesomeness, encouragement, kindness, and, yes, even love. We should share these gifts freely and keep in mind that they are often times most effective when they are bestowed on people who are undeserving.
Leave the past behind. Move toward the future. Each day, we have losses to bear, regrets to brood about, and worries to drag us down. However, many of the things we dwell upon are in the past. As troublesome as our problems often are, we sometimes embrace them instead of moving past them. When our hearts ache, we should seek healing.
Be appreciative of all life. As a Christian, I long for the day when women no longer abort their babies. The reasons they once did so are no longer of consequence. For instance, the social stigma of carrying a baby out of wedlock no longer exists. Whatever the reasons are for a mother wanting to abort her child, there are many social agencies that can provide better options. The act of abortion frequently sets a mother up for a lifetime of heartache. Many times, the painful emotions caused by abortion ripple to hurt also the hearts of grandparents, siblings and other family members.
Hug a child. The beautiful spirits of children should be nurtured by everyone whose lives they touch. Recently, I read the book “The Giver” by author Lois Lowery. It is a poignant portrayal of future community life where no one has choices or love. However, one good aspect of the story is how a community’s enjoyment and protection of children are paramount. The book is written for youthful audiences, but every adult needs to read this simple story and discuss its important issues.
Finally, live in the moment, plan carefully for the future, and appreciate the lessons that the past has taught us.
As families plan gatherings during the upcoming week, let each of us humble ourselves, look to God for guidance, and strive to be better people. Then, and only then, can the spirit of thanksgiving be fully implemented.
Email Sherry at email@example.com