I am convinced that the majority of today's youth don't truly know what it means to be thankful. And by youth I mean the smallest child who grabs what they are given and runs off without a thank-you to the college students who have been rioting recently in light of the controversy surrounding the election. If those same college students had been taught less by permissive parents and teachers to rebel when they don't get their way and taught more to be thankful for a country where democracy rules and is the final say in what the majority wants, our society would be better in so many ways. For the tiny tots who take all the world has to give them and have never been taught to say thank you, I say: Shame on you, parents! But at the same time that I heap shame upon your heads, I also say there is still time to change and teach your child the way of thankfulness.
In light of the "giving" season coming upon us faster than a New York minute, may I make a suggestion? Use this holiday season to teach your children and grandchildren what it means to be sincerely thankful. If you've noticed them being even the slightest bit ungrateful lately when someone extends to them a kind gesture or gives them a present, or you've noticed them expressing the attitude that they are "owed," let me encourage you. If your children are still young, there is still time to mold them into a creature where gratefulness is a habit...and one that will rule in their lives and become a gift that no one -- NO ONE -- can ever take from them. Gratefulness is a gift that keeps on giving, that sets a precedent for their future and will serve them well, even as they face their final days way down the road of life.
If you struggle with knowing exactly how to teach your young ones to live life with a grateful heart, here are a few suggestions:
1. Never allow them to receive anything without saying a heartfelt thank-you where they pause, look the gifter in the face and say thank-you with meaning. This will make it more real in their hearts.
2. Remind them that, even though they are loved and cherished, they are not promised -- or owed -- anything in this life, and the only true way to receive is to work hard, and to be thankful for hard work. Remind them that working hard will build character and make them worthy of reward.
3. Teach them that gifts are given because of the goodness of people and those people are owed respect for their acts of love and kindness.
4. Teach them to be givers instead of takers, and practice this in daily living.
5. Plan a holiday action, as in giving to the needy, buying presents or food for those less fortunate, and then continue it through the year, not just at the holidays.
Step No. 6: Repeat
Step No. 7: Repeat
Step. No. 8: Repeat...
...keep repeating and keep teaching, and see the benefit of what they learn about being thankful. It’s not easy and sometimes you feel like a broken record, but nothing will make you more proud when you see that they know what it means to be truly grateful.
One thing that seems to be prevalent in our society today is the absence of thankfulness for this great nation in which we live. Ask my daughter Hollie about how it feels to live in a developing country for six years and what she thinks about this country. I'm pretty sure she would give you a monologue about the ungratefulness she sees running rampant here. This country is not perfect but, as I've said before, it's the best of the best. I thank God every day that I had the privilege to be born into a nation that practices democracy, and where freedom truly rings. This is at the top of my "Thanksgiving List," after God, family, and friends.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with love, lots of good food and fellowship but, above all, the attitude of a grateful heart.
"Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
come to God's own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home."
"For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
over and around us lies. Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise."
Posted by CC
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