5 Ways To Give Thanks

When giving thanks means giving back…

When life throws us curveballs and everything seems dreary, there is a tendency for us to mourn, complain or rage. However, we are reminded that living a life in thanks is one of the most life-fulfilling. Finding the good in all things — no matter how small — reduces signs of anxiety, stress, envy and resentment. Author Naomi Williams has said, “It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.” There are moments in life when I admittedly take my blessings for granted or live in “the grass is greener” world. This is a scary place to be and can be quite destructive if it gets out of control. But I have found that one of the best ways to live a life full of thanks and love is to give back to others; be vocal, active and intentional about your gratitude. “Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”– Ralph Marston

Below are some of the things we are thankful for and how we’re showing our humble thanks by giving back.

Thankful for shelter: Find out how you can assist at a homeless shelter. Serve warm meals, play games with kids, donate clothing, or learn about other ways you can make a difference in your community.

Thankful for family: Help a family in need by giving your time, skills, food, or other charitable donations to local or national assistance organizations like Help Neighbors and Feeding America.  Write a letter of appreciation to someone in your family that you are thankful for — tell them why.

Thankful for food: Plant seeds in your community garden for others to enjoy. Cook a meal for a person or family in need. Drop off canned food and bottled water at local food drives.

Thankful for health: Volunteer at your local hospital. Inquire about donating blood to people in need.  Take a friend or family member out for a hike or walk around the park.

Thankful for a job: Share your job skills with others. Help someone write a resume.  Donate your work clothes to someone in need via Dress for Success.

+ What are you thankful for and how are you going to share your gratitude with others?

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Comments

  1. This is a wonderful idea and post. I suggest Idealist.org for volunteer opportunities. Thank you for writing this :) !!!!

  2. I am learning, both through observations and first-hand experiences, that there are many mishaps in life which seem to be unexplainable and unfair, and yet have devastating consequences. Disease fits into this category. Its malfeasance does not stem from the fact that it is a rare or uncommon occurrence, since illness and disease invade our lives, as we hear numerous stories of sick people and come into contact with them each day. However, there is a marked difference between reading in the newspaper that a famous rock star or sports icon has developed a minacious disease and discovering that your own sister has been diagnosed with cancer.

    Undoubtedly, the most influential people in my life have been parents. It is to them and my sister of course that I credit many of my accomplishments and successes both inside and outside of school. Throughout my childhood, my parents and my older sister have always fostered and encouraged me to do my best and give my all. At all my sporting events, school events, games, and countless other activities, they have always been front row and center. My sister and parents, have also fostered me to be in a loving, caring family, and to never doubt or question their utmost love towards me. Most of my greatest memories consisted of my parents, my sisters and I. Therefore it should not come as a surprise that the news of my sisters sickness would greatly alter my entire outlook on life.

    My family, in fact, had been aware of her condition in the spring during my sixth grade. They deliberately did not inform my sister or me of her illness because they did not want to distract us from our studies. Instead, my mother waited for the completion of my sister’s radiation therapy treatments. At this time, she brought me into her room, sat me down on the same wooden rocking chair from which she used to read me bedtime stories, and began to relate my sister’s story. I did not weep, I did not flinch. In fact, I hardly even moved, but from that point onward, I vowed that I would do anything and everything to please my family and make my sister proud of me.

    Every subsequent award won and every honor bestowed upon me has been inspired by the recollection of my sister’s plight. I look to her as a driving force of motivation. In her I see the firm, enduring qualities of courage, strength, hope, and especially love. Whenever I feel discouraged or dispirited, I remember the example set by my sister and soon become impelled. Instead of drowning in my sorrow, I think of all the pain and suffering that my sister had to endure and am revived with new energy after realising the pointlessness of my own issues.

    For instance, four years ago, while I was playing in a basketball game, the ball slammed onto my face and my glasses broke, and i wound up fracturing my arm. I was very upset for having injured myself in such a seemingly childish manner. Completely absorbed in my own distress, I would not talk to anyone and instead lamented on the sidelines. But I was very lucky, and later discovered that it was the least of my worries. I pictured my sister struggling everyday and fighting for her life, and instantly felt ashamed at how immature I had been acting over my own affliction. Instead of sulking or complaining, I bottled up all these emotions and worked towards accomplishing anything that would make her proud of me.

    Many years later the manifestation became unbearable as she surrendered to the cancer. We all loved her more than words could possibly describe, but we knew it would be best for her in order to stop her suffering. Nevertheless, her strength and courage will remain a constant source of inspiration to me. I feel confident to greet the future with a resolute sense of hope and optimism. As well as to always honor her memory by working hard and achieving what she would have liked for me to achieve.

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