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Are you a thankful person? Do you ever think about what your life would be like without certain blessings? Robert Emmons, touted as one of the world’s leading experts on the science of gratitude, says that “one effective way of stimulating gratitude” is to reflect on what you would be missing without the people, places, or possessions you value.

A Sweet Story

Some people are simply grateful for daily bread, like the two brothers cited in a Random Act of Kindness story published in AARP November 2015 issue. But then they got the surprise of their lives!

AARPRandomActsKindnesSMparson

David Parsons, then age 5, remembers a time when his Dad on the way to share a Thanksgiving dinner with him at school stumbled upon two brothers whose parents couldn’t afford the quarter for each of them to enjoy turkey and pumpkin pie. David’s dad noticed the boys on the steps of the lunchroom, trying to hide their humble sandwiches wrapped in wax paper, looking down at their feet in embarrassment.

Dad stopped with his hand on my shoulder. The expression on his face softened. He dug into his trouser pockets and found two shiny quarters. He called the boys by name and said, “We will all eat turkey and dressing today.” He gently pressed a quarter into each of their hands and opened the lunchroom door.

David remarks, “On that day compassion was given and received. I saw it in the eyes of those two boys. It was a lesson I’ve never forgotten.”

Powerful Posture

Gratitude can be expressed with our eyes open, our hands relaxed, looking straight ahead. But during this season of thanksgiving, it is lovely to contemplate eyes closed in gratitude, hands clasped in praise.

PudgyHandsFBC

Pudgy hands and some slightly older hands held in gratitude . . .

Grace before the ham loaf dinner, circa 2010 Patrick, Curtis, and Sarah

Grace before the ham loaf dinner, circa 2010
Patrick, Curtis, and Sarah

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.  Psalm 100:4  KJV

Two Invitations: Write a short story (250 words) or simply tell one

GreatTHanksgivingListenAARP

  • Why not connect with someone from a younger (or older) generation. Here is a link that will get you to the audio interview: http://www.thegreatlisten.org
  •  If David Parsons’ story in the introduction sparked an incident you can recount from your own experience, tell your good-deed experience in 250 words or less and submit it to kindness@aarp.org (Please cut and paste this link into your own browser.) You may be chosen to feature in a future publication!

 


I am thankful for you, dear reader, who appear here often, sometimes once a week to read and comment. Whether you read and respond or just stop by to read the postings, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.   ♥

 

Coming next: Learning 101: Role Reversal

 

 

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