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Be Thankful and Thoughtful this Holiday Season

Carolyn Lepore-Duke Dec 17, 2015

 

The World As We Know It…..

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is upon us and the parties, family gatherings and the like are keeping us pretty busy. We feel the coolness in the air, and the beauty of nature this time of year. It seems like a rebirth of sorts, as the earth prepares for the slumber of winter and the birth of spring. We even notice that people seem friendlier, and we somehow forget the frustration we have with everyday traffic. After all it is a time for giving and receiving, what could be better than that? As we reflect on this passing year, we are reminded that the world is not as tranquil as we think. We cannot watch the news without seeing that the world is chaotic, and we are not as kind to others, as we may think. Our differences, be they cultural, religious, or political has caused much pain, suffering and lost in the world. Our personal needs and wants for the holidays should not over shadow what is really important in life.

Random Acts of Kindness……..

In our everyday lives we sometimes take people we meet for granted. When we shop at the grocery store, we expect that we will get good customer service. When we go out to dinner, we expect great service with our meal. The everyday activities that we do and the people, who help us with those activities, are seldom thanked. As a society we have expectations, and those expectations must be met. When was the last time we thanked the cashier at the grocery store? When was the last time we “thanked” the server at the restaurant? When have we “thanked” the person sweeping the floor and tell them that we appreciate how hard they work? Have we ever “thanked” the barista at our favorite coffee shop for the great brew? It only takes a second to thank someone for his/ her time and efforts. Research indicates that we will often remember what someone did wrong, and remember less about thanking them for what they did right. It is interesting that we seem to be friendlier and more thankful during the holiday season. I would like to think that most of us are thankful all year long, not just during the holiday season.

Being More Thankful and Thoughtful

As we enjoy the holiday season, we focus on family and friends. It seems we are friendlier and more thoughtful toward others during this time. If we could consider for a moment what the world would be like, if we treating others this way all year long. Instead of focusing on just a few months a year if we could be kinder, gentler more thankful, in our interactions with others, we could change the world! I know that most of you will say, but “I’m just one person” how can I change the world? The answer is simple, if each of us took a second to appreciate the value of others. It is the simple thank-you, a gentle smile to a stranger, an appreciation of a job well done; these are some of the things that can change the world. My hope for the New Year is that we consciously make efforts to improve our interactions with others, not just during the holidays.

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