When I taught High School in China I loved teaching my students about this special Thanksgiving season, it's the season of giving in America. The world can learn a great deal about the value of being thankful for what we have in life and the special people in our lives.
I conducted a lesson every school year about the history of Thanksgiving and its meaning and importance for us Americans.
I liked explaining to my students that being thankful is a powerful affirmation it brings more of what we want into our life. When we are thankful for the things, we have, we will attract more goodness into our lives and the lives of those around us.
I am one of those people who simply enjoys the sharing and giving thanks for the special people in my life. That truly makes this time of year special for me because I surely have plenty to be thankful for. Throughout my life, people have gone out of their way to be kind to me, and I liked telling my students in class when you care for others you are cared for, and when you love others, you are loved. This special season of giving should reveal our love for one another through kindness because loving kindness gives this special season its true meaning.
There was a time, though, when I felt the season of giving was simply a common courtesy to receive and provide our significant others with material gifts. I now understand more clearly that this special season is for heartfelt acts of gratitude for having people in our lives. When keeping the true spirit of giving close to our heart it enables us to give from the heart all year round.
The yuletide season should be a time when our love comes to call because that love gives this time of year its true meaning. I have found over the years, though, that it's not the material gifts that count in life but rather it's the unrecognized, undetected, and unremembered acts of loving-kindness that are our greatest gifts and achievements in life.
If we truly want to see a world of loving and joyous people, we must be loving and joyous toward the people in our own lives. That potential is part of our humanity.
When we reach out and touch others, we touch a part of the humanity that is within us. When we enhance the life of another in need, we, in turn, enhance our own lives.
Objects gift-wrapped in shiny paper can be forgotten over time, but kindness whispered to those in need will echo endlessly throughout the community. Those small acts of kindness resonate with the giver and the receiver because they are gifts from the heart. Such priceless gifts can never be measured monetarily, though, because how can you put a price on love?
From my heart to yours, I would like to wish all of you a very joyous holiday season.
Thomas F O'Neill sharing a Thanksgiving Meal with coworkers in Suzhou, China.
Thomas F O'Neill tells us that he is one of those people who simply enjoys the sharing and giving thanks for the special people in his life. That truly makes this time of year special for him because he surely has plenty to be thankful for. Throughout his life, people have gone out of their way to be kind to him, and he liked telling his ... www.youtube.com
Always with love,
Thomas F O'Neill