As we close in on Thanksgiving, one of the most celebrated holidays in our country, I’d like to share with you a quote that I recently received from The Waterfront Depot in Florence, OR
“Generosity is a resistance to the fear that we won't have enough, the illusion that we can control the future, and the walls we put up that separate us. Every small act of generosity has the ability to fight back by creating a counter culture of joy, freedom and unity.
We all have something to give. Whether it's a smile so big that it can be seen behind a mask or an unexpected gift to brighten someone's day, we all can play a part by simply asking what we have to give, and finding the person who needs it most.”
I was nearly brought to tears reading the above, so touched I was by the sentiment. Throughout the last many months, in spite of the hardships the pandemic, the social unrest, the elections and the wildfires have placed on the world and locally, many acts of kindness and generosity have taken place.
This particular restaurant has started a campaign to receive donations so they can generously give gift certificates to those in need. Here close to home we know of individuals who have collected items to donate and distribute to fire victims. As winter comes on we hear of efforts to find shelter for those who may be living in the cold. I’m sure you all have examples you could share of people reaching out to others.
As we look forward to Thanksgiving and all of its traditions, we may be bemoaning the fact that it won’t be the same as other years. For some, families won’t be together in fear of the pandemic, others may be alone because of the death of a loved one, college students won’t be traveling home, or families in general will be staying put. These are all unfortunate, however, as one of my daughters constantly reminds me, “this is not forever.”
Let’s instead be creative in how we can be resistant to the fear that grips us. As the quote says, “Every small act of generosity has the ability to fight back by creating a counter culture of joy, freedom and unity.” It reminds us that we all have something to give, and for that we should be unapologetically thankful. Whether it’s contributing to the food bank or donating to Shepherd’s House so others can enjoy a much needed meal, or calling a neighbor to see how they are doing, or sending an email greeting to someone you know is alone, do it. I, for one, am distraught at not being able to invite another single senior to share dinner with me. The Pandemic dictates this, and I will comply. However, I will find away to counteract the guilt I feel at enjoying an almost normal time while I know others will be alone. I will look for other ways to share while giving thanks, knowing many have much less.
As we spend time consciously thinking of those blessings, may we be aware of those who have lost everything and in whatever way we can, with what ever gifts we can share, reach out in generosity. Create that counter culture of joy, freedom and unity so we can break down the walls that separate us.