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Thanks…Giving is Sacrifice!

It’s Me!



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“Prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
~Maya Angelou~

On Thursday, November 24th, 2011 Thanksgiving was observed and millions of people traveled along the highways to convene with family and friends, chowed down on plates of food, rejoice over fond family memories, and even share the awkwardness of having to eat poorly prepared food and pretending to like it. Just like throngs of other Americans, I traveled with my sister and niece to Virginia to spend this Thanksgiving break with my family despite not really feeling in the mood to be on the highway during the busiest shopping season of the year.

In this down time however, I was able to spend more time than usual on Twitter conversing with friends, following others and reflecting as well. Rhythm and Blues singer, Maxwell, tweeted the following: “bittersweet moment of silence to all NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS.”  I really appreciated his tweet because it added perspective to the idea of giving thanks.  The sacrifices made in this nation were many and costly; and,  they were far more valuable than any of the savings cash-strapped consumers would have on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  In my own family, before we engaged in the ritual overindulgence of “holiday” eating, we committed to writing reasons for which we were thankful.  Our lists were placed on the refrigerator (or any high volume area) for all to continually see and acknowledge that the reason we had so much to be thankful for was due in large to the amounts of sacrifice by others; it added a special, pensive quality to our time together. Later in the evening I received a text message from a dear friend, Jakuta Williams, explaining he wouldn’t have an orthodox evening of food, family and fun; instead, he spent his time with clients that didn’t have any family with whom to share their time.  As he termed it, he had made a “sacrifice.” Hopeful. Noble. Special.

To the contrary, it seems that so many will sacrifice so long as it doesn’t interfere with temporary  wants. For example, in the same earlier-mentioned Twitter feed I read that a Georgia businessman was refusing to hire unless President Obama was fired. In this season of thanksgiving, our government is still at an impasse regarding our budget.  What has happened to sacrificing for the good of others?

I’m thankful to have read Maxwell’s tweet and to have received the text from Jakuta–thankful to know that sacrifice has not completely been dissolved and to be able to use my ideas to inspire others to commit acts of service. I am reminded of Stevie Wonder’s album / song Conversation Peace in which he repeatedly says, “All for one/ one for all/ there’s no way we’ll reach our greatest heights / unless we heed the call…” Sacrifice is a call of duty for every person.



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