Today’s Gem of Insight #81

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Today’s insight journey led me to the idea that it might be time for a gratitude challenge as the world prepares to shop its way through this holiday season. Everywhere that we turn this time of year the prevailing subject is Black Friday. In fact, with the passing of each year the Black Friday events start earlier, so much so that not only are there Black Friday events kicking off in the early evening of Thanksgiving Day, but many of them are set to begin as early as tomorrow.

A holiday that is supposed to be centered around spending time with loved ones and being thankful for the blessings of which we are aware, and many of which we have no idea, has been so overtaken by commercialization that for many people the only importance that Thanksgiving carries for them anymore is the promise of an inevitable shopping adventure that may potentially lead to discounted treasures.

Now, it is not my intention to comment on whether Black Friday is or is not appropriate; that is for each person to decide for himself or herself. What I do intend to do, though, is to make the following challenge to everyone out there: for each item that you purchase during Black Friday events, why not do something nice for someone who is not in a position to do anything nice for you in return out of gratitude for the blessings that abound in your life? Sure, it may require some extra effort, but taking the time to spread a little gratitude is more than worth it. #lovebythedrop

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Today’s Gem of Insight #78

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Today’s insight journey led me to the idea that we should never underestimate the beneficial power of random acts of kindness. My guess is that most of us are accustomed, in some way or another, to doing nice things for people when we are asked to do so, whether it is acquiescing when someone asks us to wash their car, review their power point presentation in an effort to ensure that there are no errors, or even join them for lunch because they do not want to eat alone. And performing acts of kindness under those circumstances is great, in fact it’s what we are supposed to do as human beings.

However, what about times when ideas to do nice things for others who have not asked us to do anything for them come to us? What do we do in those moments? Do we quickly usher those ideas out of our minds, or do we contemplate those ideas and figure out ways to bring them to fruition. My hope is that we choose the latter more often than the former, as performing random acts of kindness for others blesses them and us at the same time. It blesses the recipients in that they are the ones who are receiving something nice. It blesses us in that it reminds us of how we, too, need assistance at times, which in turn helps us to remain humble. And it actually blesses other people who are not even directly involved by demonstrating to them the fact that love is still alive in this world, as well as providing for them an example of the power that sharing love with others possess.

So, when those ideas of nice and unsolicited things that we can do for others pop into our heads, let’s be quick to consider them and then do what it is that is in our power to do to bring them to fruition. After all, our choice to spread a little love might be the greatest blessing that those recipients have received in a long time. #lovebythedrop

Today’s Gem of Gratitude #239

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Today I am thankful for the ability to give to charitable organizations. No one makes it in this world alone, whether they realize it or not. And there is truth in the statement that “to whom much is given, much is required.” I may not have realized the magnitude of how blessed I was as a child, but as I have gotten older I have become more aware of that truth; I am blessed beyond measure and I always have been. And as I have become more aware of that truth I have begun to see the world through different eyes, eyes that are more compassionate, more determined to not look away.

There are many people in this world who exist on less than humanly thought imaginable, just as there are others who exist on much more than was ever thought humanly possible. And somewhere in the middle lack crashes into lavishness and the lens of invisibility widens as the haves throw a few dollars in the general direction of the have nots, neither concerning themselves with seeing those who should receive nor with the true final destination of those negligently discarded dollars. Among other things, it is this image, this scenario, which troubles me. It is this truth that stirs me up and quickens my pulse.

That invisibility is not okay with me. It is just not acceptable. And it is because of that unsettled sensation that I have a heart for charitable organizations, and more specifically for those who are in need of their services the most. I have a heart that is concerned with ensuring that charitable organizations have the resources and access that they need. And that heart is just as deeply concerned with making sure that charitable organizations are managed properly and that they are free of corruption.

Our world is vast and full of lives that unfortunately hang in the balance from second to second and are in need of the love that those who have been blessed with abundance have, and it is up to us to ensure that that love, our love, reaches those who are in need right where they are. That, in my opinion, is why charitable organizations are in existence; they are the extensions of our hearts, eyes, and limbs, reaching into the valleys of the world, lifting up those who are in need of elevation, embracing them with empathy, nurturing their spirits via the unconditional bond of humanity. #lovebythedrop