As a society, we talk a lot about “love” being an action—not just a feeling. But what does it mean to be “thankful” in action? That’s a question that’s been on my mind a lot lately, especially as we head into November.
My dad told me about a quote recently that really hit home: prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening to God.
In a way, I see thankfulness as a way of listening to God, too. But I think it’s more than that.
It’s tempting to be all #blessed without acknowledging that our blessings also bestow upon us an obligation to give. No matter what your belief system, I think we can (or at least, should) all agree that the more you have, the greater your responsibility to share your blessings.
To me, realizing that you have more than you need and paying it forward is thankfulness in action. And I don’t just mean financially (although, I do mean financially, too.) I also mean that we should be generous with our good-tidings.
When we feel joyful, I believe we have an obligation to use that joy and energy to help those who aren’t necessarily feeling as joyful this holiday season. That could mean something as simple as sending an “I’m thinking of you” text or a Starbucks gift card, or as extravagant as flying across the country to visit a friend you know is lonely. Joy grants us the ability to love greatly, and a crucial element of showing we’re thankful for that is using that energy to love others.
So, I hope this holiday season you feel deeply grateful for all the things you have been given. But I hope you don’t stop there. I hope you use your gratitude to change the world, one small act of kindness at a time.