I recently read an inspiring “letter” written by Reverend Robert Luckin. He creates workshops and is a popular speaker at many spiritual communities around the United States. In his letter, he spoke of many things for which he wanted to give thanks. He begins:
Thanks for all the times you have lifted me up and given me a smile, a fresh new idea, a new word, a new song, and your laughter. Thanks for your advice and the way you didn’t get mad when I didn’t use it.
He goes on to list many, many more things. A gentle touch. Respect. Encouragement. All things for which we should be grateful, things for which we should give thanks.
I write often about the need for gratitude. Life is far more rewarding when we take time to recognize our blessings and give thanks for all we’ve been given. Today, however, I want to take a slightly different perspective on gratitude.
Instead of thinking of all that we’ve been given, why not think of all we have to give to others?
With that thought, I returned to Luckin’s letter, looking at each blessing and thinking of how I might give that same blessing to someone else.
WHAT CAN WE GIVE?
- An emotional lift when a friend is feeling down.
- A smile — always a welcome gift.
- New ideas that someone might enjoy
- New words that might bring inspiration or hope
- A new song! Music is a special gift we can share.
- Laughter. Nothing more needs to be said on this one.
- Advice, when asked.
- Understanding, at all times.
- A gentle touch.
- Respect for all.
- Encouragement and praise.
- Forgiveness for those who have wronged us.
- Guidance for those who have lost their way.
- The beauty of the earth.
- A dare to live fully, to follow one’s dreams.
- A helping hand when someone has fallen.
- A willingness to love forever.
- A light in the darkness.
- An example for our children to follow.
- A simple “Good morning,” to start the day.
- A reminder to care for oneself.
- Room to grow.
- The right to make mistakes without censure.
- A moment of our time — even when we have little to spare.
These are simple gifts. They cost little, are always available, and don’t require wrapping or mailing. We don’t have to worry about giving the wrong size, the wrong color, or the wrong style.
When we meet someone who asks that question, maybe we can take a moment to give something of ourselves, something that might spark that wondrous sense of gratitude for another.