Living with Thanks

We’ve reached the second to last month of 2014, are you ready for the year to be over or are you going to do your best to make the most of these last few weeks? This month we’re going to talk quite a bit about a topic that I believe is essential to business owners, parents, partners and kids alike: being thankful. So we will be discussing a thanks related topic each Monday (and you can read even more over on my life and spirituality blog).

Today I wanted to talk about what being thankful is really about. Theodore Roosevelt said:

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”

Last month I shared a lot about compassion, including the incredible realization that compassion isn’t just an emotion: it’s really an action. You can read more at this blog post, but simply put, if you’re feeling true compassion for someone, not only are you going to feel bad for the person where they’re at and the situation they’re in, but you’re going to do everything in your power to make sure they don’t stay there. True compassion is unable to leave the situation as bad as it is, it’s almost a compulsion to make a change.

In this statement Roosevelt reminds us that being thankful is much the same as compassion: it’s really an action based sentiment, of course we’ve gotten pretty good at making it just empty words. Which is really the challenge we’re up against this month: can we make being thankful about more than just 2 empty words that we say when someone holds a door for us or helps us pick up dropped papers? Can we turn around and do something nice for someone else because someone helped us? Can we go out there and make a difference in someone’s life because someone made a difference in ours?

That would be my challenge to each of us this month as we look at holiday sales, crazy family parties, and the celebrations of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years; to make a difference in the lives of others around us. Maybe that looks like a discount for a customer you know you can help but doesn’t quite have enough to pay you, or donating your time or resources at a homeless shelter, or taking the kids to play with homeless kids. What will you do to share your thankfulness for all you’ve been blessed with this month?

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