Thanksgiving reminds us that many of life’s daily gifts go unrecognized. It is more than a phrase to say, “We pause to give thanks…”
This annual pause in our routines and rat races gives us the chance to reflect upon all that blesses our lives. And, in response, we can express appreciation.
Acts of kindness and goodness are often the best ways to show thanksgiving. And creativity and sensitivity help us to do this well.
One of my favorite news stories — among all the bitterness and battles — came out of Seal Beach, Calif., recently. John and Stella Chhan, who came to the U.S. as refugees from Cambodia in 1979, own a popular donut shop there.
Regular customers inquired about Stella’s absence and learned she’d suffered an aneurysm and was in rehab. According to CBS, Mr. Chhan turned down their kind offer to set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses, noting that he was just eager to be by her side.
That’s where generosity met creativity: Instead of giving money directly or offering “thoughts and prayers” while buying a donut or two, regular customers starting buying them by the dozen and sending in friends with similar orders.
The daily result of this compassionate act was that all the donuts sold quickly — allowing Mr. Chhan the opportunity to close shop early (with the same needed profit) and be with his wife.
Mrs. Chhan is improving, according to the report. Surely she is eager to return to the donut shop where she can express her thanks to those who have been supportive in words and deeds.
And these customers have the added opportunity to be generous with their friends and coworkers each day by sharing the additional donuts — assuming they resisted eating them en mass en route.
Expressing our thanksgiving in words is good and needed. May we do that often and with more resolve this during this holiday time.
But thanksgiving calls for more than words. Acts of creative generosity allow us to express our thanks in dozens and dozens of ways.