Being thankful for the good, and the bad, in our lives reminds us of what it means to be alive. We are reminded, especially during this time of year, to list the things we are grateful for. It is healthy and productive to ruminate on one’s own blessings. Reminding yourself of all that you have brings to the fore the situations of those around you who do not share the blessings you may take for granted. The wonderful thing about taking that thankfulness your feel in your heart, and putting it into action, is that it takes little to no effort on your part and makes the receiver feel thankful as well.
- Hold the open for someone whose hands are full.
- Pay the toll for the person behind you.
- Send care packages and notes to the troops overseas. Let them know how much you appreciate their sacrifices.
- “Adopt” a family through the Salvation Army or other charity. Share your blessings with those who don’t have as much.
- Volunteer at an animal shelter or donate pet food.
- Visit a senior center. Many seniors are lonely and would love to talk to someone who just wants to listen.
- Volunteer at the Maryland Food Bank or donate your non-perishable food stuffs.
- Gather up your family’s outgrown winter coats, gloves, and scarves. Donate them to a shelter.
- Have a yard/garage sale and donate the profits to your charity of choice.
- Compliment someone.
- Give prepackaged treats to your local police or fire department with a hand-written note telling them how much you appreciate their services.
- Pick up litter as you find it and throw it away.
- Plant a tree in memory of someone who influenced you, gave you joy, or just made you glad that you knew them.
- Share the things you have done to show your gratitude. Keep the list growing.
And don’t forget that a smile can make a person’s day (including yours)!