The Thanks of Giving and Living

Isn’t it funny how the word giving rhymes with living?

Here, Thanksgiving is only a week away. In my story, Unlikely Places, I talked about how much I love the yoga studio we go to. Recently, we got invited to an upcoming event there called the ThanksLiving meal.

I just LOVE that title. I mean it’s one thing to give thanks and quite a bonus to live thanks. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of gratitude, my mind goes straight to compassion.

I once heard that compassion has to be taught. Personally, I don’t know that I  really believe that 100%. I like to think that children are born with pure hearts and know things about being compassionate that we wish we knew. I have a story to share as an example.

A couple years ago I had a story I wrote published. The prize was ten free books and a check for $200.00. For weeks I thought and dreamed about what I would do with my prize money.

The day the check came, Little Bit and I went to the bank and cashed it. I put the money in the console. After running several errands, we were sitting at a red stop light on our way home.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man sitting on the corner with a sign. At our angle, I couldn’t see what his sign said. Before the light changed, I had a sudden crazy idea. I told myself, “No way!”

Now would probably be a good time to tell you that I once heard if you get the urge to do something kind, to just do it, don’t question it. Well, I had the kindness urge and it was screaming my name!

So, I asked Little Bit, “Should we do something really, really nice for someone or should we go home?” From the backseat I heard this little voice say, “Really, really nice for someone.” So, around the block we went.

As luck would have it, we caught a red light right next to the man on the corner. His sign simply said, “Neep help”. I cracked my window and motioned him over. It wasn’t until that moment that I saw he was wearing a Veteran’s hat. I told him I was going to make his day and handed him a 100 dollar bill. I honestly don’t know who was happiest, him, me, or a Little Bit smiling in the back seat.

As we pulled away, my tears started pouring out. Thanks living. Those tears fell in extreme gratitude, not only for the experience, but that my kiddo chose kindness even when my mind had a doubt.

Since then, we have helped many others and something about that seems kind of funny to me now. All those times I thought it was me who was teaching Little Bit about compassion. But, now I can clearly see, he was teaching me.

Yesterday at yoga, near the end of his session, Little Bit’s yoga teacher said she had a surprise for him, a song. I waited in anticipation to see what she chose. As soon as I heard the first note, my gratitude tears started falling. “Imagine” by John Lennon filled the room.

We are looking forward to joining some kind souls at the ThanksLiving meal. And, I just have to tell you how lucky I feel every time I experience the thanks of giving and living. 

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