Nov 27, 2008

Thanksgiving and Selfish Giving

Happy Thanksgiving! Today is a day where most every American gives thanks and spends time with loved ones. It's a wonderful day filled with turkeys, apple and pumpkin pies, and lots of laughter. Family may travel to see relatives and friends gather.

Earlier today, on the way to our Thanksgiving feast, we passed a truck whose tire had blown out on the interstate. A comment was made about how awful that was because the tire couldn't be replaced (something about the rim, I was lost but accepted the explanation). I said I felt like we should stop. We didn't. We were sure he had a phone, who doesn't? Did he? Really, what would we have done? The tire (according to the given explanation) really couldn't have been replaced and we didn't know this guy from Adam so it was doubtful we'd have given him a ride. If he was nice, would we have? It was Thanksgiving day.

After we'd long passed him, I felt guilty. Now, had I been alone I probably wouldn't have because being a single woman it just wouldn't have been appropriate, but I wasn't alone. And I wasn't a single woman today. When I put all of my thoughts together though, it occurred to me... did I want to help him because it would make ME feel better? Because I knew it was the right thing to do... Or did I want to stop and help him because I truly did want him to make it to his own Thanksgiving feast? Of course I did want him to make it to his family dinner, but I just couldn't shake off the guilt -my guilt- of not stopping just to check on him. On this day of thanks when I have everything in the world to be thankful for, we could have stopped.

As we enter into the holiday season that is often filled with numerous opportunities for giving, I'm reminded to give selflessly and not selfishly. While all giving is GOOD because it is helping someone else, doing it for the right reasons is also important.

Wishing everyone safe travels and good bargains tomorrow!

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"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub