TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
Welcome to my favorite time of the year! There are many reasons why I so enjoy the fall season. The leaves turning the world into a beautiful colorful landscape is just one of my reasons. I enjoy the cold temperatures. I like the cold wind blowing that is cold enough to make your bones chill. I enjoy staying close to a fire outside so the front of your body feels like it is on fire and your backside is freezing off. Yes, these are all reasons why I love this time of the year. The most important reason to me is that I am able to turn the month of November into a month of “Thanks – Giving.” I guess one of the reasons I have taken on this personal project I call “Thanks – Giving” is because the retail world takes no time at all for Thanksgiving except for promotion of their turkey sales around the Thanksgiving Holiday. To be honest, if you watch families, they too take very little time to honor the importance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Most families are so excited about Halloween and the approach of Christmas that only on Thanksgiving Day, if then, is there any pause for what this holiday is all about. It should be noted that only in America do we celebrate Thanksgiving, and it should be a very special time of the year instead of just another day, with of course turkey, ham and pumpkin pie that we add to that day’s schedule.
Several years ago I began making this time of the year my personal season of “Thanks – Giving” and I did so by reflecting and thinking back through the year and other years for that matter, and remembering people, places, experiences and even some books I have read. I want to write and say that I have always been a thankful person. I know beyond any shadow of a doubt I can say I have always been thankful for the things I wanted, that I received. My mind is spinning as I attempt to recall all the things I should have been thankful for that I didn’t receive. Living a life of “Thanks – Giving” is not exactly the way most folks wake up with each morning. I personally believe that in order to live such a life it must be a deliberate, intentional and purposed plan if we are to be successful. I am embarrassed to say and think that I have not always been a positive person, cherishing the moments of life as they occur. No doubt, friends that will read this, and those of you who know me personally will say I am always smiling, I am always having fun, and that I have a strong positive outlook on life. Thanks, and I can agree but I also know I have my moments too. Thus I believe writing about this and encouraging people to create their own “Thanks – Giving” season is a good thing to do.
As I have been preparing for these “Thanks – Giving” columns, I have had a lot of fun. Just thinking back about different moments has been one way to count my blessings several times over. There is no need to reinvent the wheel as they say, so counting your blessings and naming them one by one will do you some good too if you will take the time to write them down. I know it seems crazy, and if you ask anyone their opinion about blessings and things to be thankful for, folks will say you are on the right track, but the failure comes in not following through and actually writing them down, naming them and proclaiming yourself thankful. This process will take a little time, some effort, reflection, energy and excitement for the project. I will encourage you now to be broad minded in your thoughts and reflection. It is easy to name your family members, but you might find it a little more challenging with you start to name their acts that cause you to be “Thanks – Giving” in attitude. In your broad vision don’t be afraid to mention the everyday stuff. Some of the greatest little gifts in life come from some of the most normal routines that we complete all the time. Union College in Barbourville at one time had a slogan. It was “Think outside yourself.” At first glance the slogan might seem a little strange, but when you reflect upon the thought, it is pretty awesome. From time to time I believe life requires us to do just that kind of thinking. If you don’t look outside yourself, first you might just miss something that is designed specifically for you. Second, if you don’t look outside yourself it is very possible that you will miss a golden opportunity to make someone’s day by using your gifts and talents.
Get ready for my favorite time of the year, “Thanks – Giving.” You and I have this moment to share our ‘thanks’. We have this moment to do some ‘giving’ to others.