Bird Droppings November 11, 2011
Gratitude is action as well as words
Most mornings I am driving to school about four thirty or so in the morning but today with Veterans Day as a holiday I got to relax till maybe five or so. Today my wife had scheduled a medical procedure and we were at the doctor around seven this morning just as the sun was coming up. I by chance got a photo of a brilliant red maple tree shining in the rising sun. Usually at that time of day at home while I can see the sunrise it is you can watch and listen to the awakening of everything. While I was standing facing east to take in the full effect of the sunrise it was mainly cars and business sounds humming and popping around me. After several minutes a lone bird started chirping and soon another and within minutes I was visually and auditorally committed and nature in the midst of chaos caught my attention again. On this day of thanks to our veterans I am not only thankful but offer it is with sincere gratitude that I sit here writing today. To friends, family and those I do know thank you from my heart.
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Meister Eckhart
It is only a few weeks ahead that as I will be waking up the morning after, while most folks will be still asleep, it seems that turkey has that effect on people here around the holidays. With the Thanksgiving holiday near I was thinking about gratitude. When I saw Eckhart’s quote about a month ago my first thought was to use it on Thanksgiving Day. But I really think it goes beyond a single day of giving thanks.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.” Northrup Christine
Being grateful opens doors and let’s people in. We live in such a protectionist society and reality. We are always trying to protect our own area of influence and self. However gratefulness can lift you up and take you beyond where you are now to another level.
“Gratitude is the heart’s memory.” French Proverb
“It is another’s fault if he is ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.” Seneca
Gratitude requires giving and in giving we are also offering of ourselves and building up within ourselves.
“The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” Ethel Percy Andrus
“It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving.” Richard Braustein
Life is about giving, sometimes what you offer to others is simply how and where you are placed in life and many times that provides the vehicle for your journey through life and direction for others.
“In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” Flora Edwards
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Kahlil Gibran
So often we think of giving as money or food, but in reality giving of self that is the hardest and the most rewarding. Caring about people and sharing is much harder than simply providing a dollar or a can, the gratitude comes back within and through our hearts.
“He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.” Lao Tzu
“A handful of pine-seed will cover mountains with the green majesty of forests. I too will set my face to the wind and throw my handful of seed on high.” Fiona Macleod
When forester’s timber areas, often they will leave several healthy older trees to seed the remaining land. I have been in areas where clear cutting save for a few tree, has occurred and several years later a new forest has begun. But it is so important to plant seeds and to scatter them as to be a friend and to let friendships grow.
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa
“The more credit you give away, the more will come back to you. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.” Brian Tracy
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton
I remember a candlelight service so many years ago, one person carefully started with a lit candle and handed their light to another’s candle and each in turn went through the room lighting another’s and soon the room was filled with light. We are much like a candle light service if we share our light and love, and pass it on to the person next to you. It is to say thank you when you receive from another and offer always to another. So often life hands us unexpected surprises, gratitude extends and magnifies those times. Please as we get into this coming holiday season keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts.