Vail Daily column: Holiday magic and mayhem
For many people there is a ton of activity and action going on during Thanksgiving Day. Some families and neighbors gather to play football in the park or the street while others settle in for some action-packed football on TV. Others find action in gathering together to help serve and feed others through homeless shelters and other organizations. And anyone who has ever collected food, prepared food, served food or washed dishes and scrubbed pots and pans for those less fortunate will tell you that there is plenty of activity and action taking place. I may not be the best person to cook or prepare the meals, but I am one heck of a pots and pans scrubber.
Call to Action
To give thanks, a verb and a call to action all neatly tied up in this wonderful holiday. And if we are blessed enough to be able to share our gratitude and appreciation with those we love and with those who may be experiencing a difficult time in their lives right now, we are called to action, called to act upon Thanksgiving.
Now, I have met and heard from people who have the very best of intention to do something bigger with their time and their lives. And that feeling swells each year as the holidays approach. Yet when I meet them again during or maybe even after the New Year and ask how their “giving” and Thanksgiving season went, I hear a mixed response. Some are eager to share their victories of contribution and the elation they experienced while others fall back on the excuses such as a lack of time or something else came up. Is it a lack of time? Did something else really come up? Or is it just a lack of commitment in connecting what we desire to do most in our hearts with the justification of what is happening in our heads?
All About Commitment
You see, if we have been blessed enough to help and give when we can, shouldn’t we? Think of it this way — it’s kind of like the person who builds a home gym so that they will get committed to a work-out routine but ends up with a collection of weights and machines that collect dust. Or the person that says they want to learn a foreign language and buys Rosetta Stone only to leave the box on a shelf or in a closet. It’s not the gym equipment or cool teaching technology that failed us. It is our lack of commitment to taking the action that prevented us from reaching our goals. And one of the best parts of Thanksgiving is in its inherent call to action. I have heard so many stories from people who always wanted to “give” or do something more in their lives and found that Thanksgiving was an awesome day to place their “giving” stake in the ground and begin following their heart.
The Joy of Giving
For those who read this column regularly, I know that this next statement will sound like a broken record, but here it goes. As much as we help others by giving, giving of time, talents, resources, money, hugs and prayers, the person who experiences the greatest joy is not the person receiving what is given, rather it is the person that is doing the giving that in turn receives the most joy.
Happy Thanksgiving, a verb and a call to action. How about you? Is Thanksgiving a launching point for you to give back in some way to our community? Or have you already been a compassionate and consistent giver of thanks? Either way, I would love to hear all about it at email@example.com and when we take up that call to action, it really will be a better than good week, holiday season, year and life.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.