Thanksgiving – give praise and thanks to the source and give blessings to others – “Talk of the Town”
Mike McCurry’s “Talk of the Town” column from The Clarendon Courier – November 27, 2014
With scissors in hand, the hairdresser paused and looked in the mirror at the young girl sitting in the chair. Then, she asked the question one more time.
“Are you sure you want to cut it all off?”
But Abbey wasn’t making a hasty decision; she had thought long and hard about it. She had even spent some time alone praying for the person who might wear her hair, hoping that it would bring some joy and fill a need … hoping that her donation might help make someone feel beautiful again.
For Abbey, cutting off her hair and sharing it with Locks of Love an organization that turns donated hair contributions into wigs for those suffering medical hair loss, was an innocent act of kindness that she decided to do all on her own. Knowing that she had been given a lot (and I mean a lot!) of hair, it seemed natural to her to pass along a bit of that blessing to someone else. And when the stylist was finished and her lustrous hair was gone, Abbey’s face lit up with joy. She knew in her heart that sharing her blessing was the right thing to do.
Abbey, in her own way, was offering thanksgiving.
In her book, “Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers,” author Anne Lamott writes that her days sometimes begin with a prayer: “Help me, help me, help me.” And when the day has ended, she prays, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Lamott suggests that being thankful is a natural reaction to the filing of a need or void in our lives.
The pastor who married my wife and I, Rev. Ralph Robrahn spoke about these concepts recently. He said that people are well — they are whole — when they recognize the source that their gifts have come from. Then, in a spirit of thankfulness, they give back. Thanks, and giving. Thanksgiving!
You might say, then, that Thanksgiving is more than simply an annual meal when we recite all we’re thankful for. It’s a continuous cycle in which grace and blessings descend from God; and we, in our thanks, give praise back to Him and give blessings to others.
One natural way to offer thanksgiving is to pay it forward through acts of kindness and generosity. Generous people tend to be happier, healthier and live longer lives. When people give, it has a healing effect and helps make them whole.
What are some ways that we can pay forward our thanks in our community? There are plenty! Perhaps you can share a skill you have with those in need through a local agency or food bank. Or you could consider mentoring to younger people at your church or in our schools.
Our local Infant Welfare chapter offers its members many opportunities for generosity, such as fundraising, clothing drives and requests for Christmas gifts for children. Indian Princesses and Guides organizations are also collecting gifts from their members to give to families in need.
If you’d like to make an even larger commitment, our local school boards are always looking for quality people who are willing to give of their time and their talents. And our local government and park districts have many opportunities to give back to the community through serving on boards.
Or maybe, just like Abbey, you were blessed with lots of beautiful hair, and you want to pay it forward to bring happiness to someone else. No matter how you do it, I encourage you to take this week’s holiday to heart. Count your blessings, give praise and thanks … and pay it forward.
Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian Princes; Indian Guide Dad; a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker. Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around Clarendon Hills. It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings. He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting Clarendon Hills residents and even a little about Clarendon Hills history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”. Mike McCurry’s office is located at 5 S. Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills, IL 60514 His blog can be found at mikemccurryhomesblog.wordpress.com 630-325-2800 or visit his website at www.mmccurry.com