The Thankfulness of Giving

The bountiful life that is ever present often eludes us on a daily basis. When do we stop and smell the roses or arise knowing full well that this is a day not promised to anyone; and yet, here we are!  Each breath, taken and released might serve as a stark reminder of just how powerful and fragile the fine line is between here and not. 

There is a beloved member of my close knit circle of friends and family who has been challenging the boundaries between here and there.  A massive brain tumor has been threatening him since he was 15 years old.  He staved off the first round and now, 25 years later,with the tumor back, the decision must be made to stand and deliver.  He is a brave and calculating soul, often impatient with the doctors and their lack of providence of things unseen.  Surely, every day is a blessing that he insists is his to have and to hold.

Generally, we humans tend to wait until some tragic events forces us to take into account our many blessings. Rarely is it within our social structure to note without hesitation, the glory that is unfolding everywhere we look.  The frantic to and fro of daily life comes into focus only when we are forced to stop and reflect.
A single moment pregnant with the pause of wonder makes it all clear.  Nature is giving us the seeds of change and the electromagnetic field to make it grow.  So what are we planting?  How will we sow what has been gifted into our domain and where do we spread the harvest?

I recently heard an economist say that we could not as humans afford to pay Nature for all that she bestows upon us.  The costs would be too high even to calculate with any certainty. Happily for us, Nature is as generous as life is everlasting.  The currency of goodwill is very much a natural occurrence for which we surely need to capitalize on.  Giving to our fellow man is part of the fabric of humankind.  The collective consciousness inherent in communities has kept us a float for millions of years on this planet.  Without the cooperative give and take of learning to survive, Homo sapiens (Latin for "wise man") would have perished long ago.   There is a reason we are our brother's keeper.

This high holiday season is filled with the hustle and bustle of friends and family coming together to give thanks.  For those of us with warm homes and a full belly, we can give thanks with a glass of wine and a hearty laugh for another year of success.  For the many without food, shelter and warm clothing huddled against an icy wind of selfishness sweeping across the land, breathing might well be all they are grateful for. And, for those dedicated to power, profit and privilege, (careful, that glass tower was made in China) there is a wide range of things to be thankful, mainly a populace that is too uninformed and uninspired to act in their own best interest.

Being thankful on any day is the best one can do to pay homage to the Life given.  The man in the hospital insisting on each shallow breath lives one swallow at a time and smiles happily with gratitude.  His family prays fervently for a miracle. That he has lasted this long says so much about the power of life to sustain itself even when all else seems not to. (Ironies abound, everything and everyone on this planet is a miracle of creation and often we can't see the forest for the trees.) At the time of this writing, his great presence is still among us.  I am happy.

Giving to anything is purposeful.  We are given to enormously without asking.  The god of big and small things never adds up the bill and waits for delivery.  Pay it forward is an idea whose time came years ago and is still going strong. The thankfulness of giving to others comes without an expiration date; it is time immemorial!

With great love and respect


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