It’s that time of year. November and December are the months in the West, where some of us will make special plans to connect with family and friends. Many families in the United States celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday with a feast.
My family and I recognized Thanksgiving from our home in Antigua. We did not travel to the States or Mexico. Yes, we stayed here, where Christopher Columbus first “discovered,” the Arawak people. His cousins later arrived and then...
Among my family, I have a reputation for being critical of holidays. Some of my sisters have called me Scrooge or grinch. They do this because instead of saying Happy Thanksgiving, I have often replied with Happy Thanks-taking or Happy Indigenous People Slaughter’s Day. Yes, I have struggled with being able to disassociate the historical context of popular holidays from the nuances that interpret these days as opportunities to appreciate family and friends.
I am working on improving myself. This process is teaching me that, it doesn’t hurt anyone to say Happy Thanksgiving. If others want to eat turkey and stuff their faces with desserts until they fall asleep, it's okay. I do not need to join them.
If experiencing food comatose brings you joy, I will not judge this decision.
Last Sunday, I watched the Trinity United Church of Christ’s online service. At the end of Pastor Moss’s sermon, he took an additional offering to feed families for the next two weeks. He pleaded that we strive to care for our community beyond the holidays. It stirred some emotions in me to see half the congregation get out of their seats and contribute to a positive initiative.
As we go about our lives, we should look for ways to extend ourselves. We must be willing to give more than what is required and expected. A spirit of gratitude, coupled with giving, is a recipe for happiness and fulfillment during any season of the year.
For the past two months, I made one of my weekly goals to give something away. I am keeping a tight handle on my finances to eliminate debt, so each week, I commit to donating my time and other resources. In October, I started a new Capoeira class on a beach near my home.
Some residents and my university students participate in these free classes. I donate one hour of my Saturdays to teach Capoeira’s self-defense movements, music, history, and philosophies. The only thing I ask of my students is to remain consistent. I want them to pay me with their discipline and commitment.
I am not discussing this free Capoeira class with you to prove alignment with righteous thinking and practices. I intend to encourage you not to limit your giving to things you can buy. Our time is one of the most valuable resources we possess.
Today, let’s commit to giving more of ourselves on every week of the year. If you have financial resources, donate more to worthy causes. Use more of your time and skills to improve the lives of others. Mentor more young people. Call home more often and speak with your family.
It is possible to make more time for gratitude, giving, and building relationships with family, friends, and your community regardless of the Hallmark holiday calendar. Click the video below and see how this blog’s content translated to a memorable vlog episode. When you visit our Youtube channel, La Vida Lindsay, go ahead, and please subscribe!