Thanks & Giving

Thanksgiving. THANKS and GIVING. Words that merged together lead to a national holiday where a turkey is the star of the show but as individual words have a push-pull effect that cause me to ponder their independent meanings more deeply.
 
When we are grateful and appreciate the kind gestures or actions that are done on our behalf, we are bestowing “THANKS” upon the person who relished us with that kindness. When we are “GIVING” to someone or something, we in a way are giving THANKS for the gratitude we feel towards that person or cause we are GIVING to.
 
So many things these days take us away from our path or the direction we wish to see our lives moving towards. I think there is so much noise, both visually and audibly, that gets in the way of the simplicity of “free thought,” that sometimes we make our decisions based on the easiest route to take or the least resistant road to travel. The constant beatdown of social media, television and basically life in general can give the most joyous person room for pause, but little by little we see a light shining through this darkness of simple hope and well-being for mankind. The smallest acts of giving, even a smile to a stranger, can lift the spirit and allow them to pay that gesture forward. If we focus on breathing, lowering our shoulders from stress and tightness and give ourselves a few precious moments to be THANKFUL and GRATEFUL for who we are and where we are, that alone will allow us to hack away at the craziness of the world we live in.  Our own little diamonds in the rough.
 
Travis Country is a neighborhood made up of a wide range of people of all ages, a variety of backgrounds and heritages, careers and political choices, but as a whole, we are a community of one big ol’ happy family.  I know there are likes and dislikes among us, whether it is being a “dog” or “cat” person, we live in the “old” or “new” section of the neighborhood or we send our kids to “public” or “private” school, among other differences.  No matter the difference, when the mention of “Travis Country” comes up in a conversation, either in the neighborhood or out and about in Austin, the thing I tend to hear most is, “That is a great community!” Travis Country IS a great community based on our acceptance of each other’s differences and the basic trait of being respectful to one another and a good neighbor.
 
Expanding on my earlier thought of small acts of kindness, within our neighborhood, if we can continue to work towards being THANKFUL and GRATEFUL to those nearest to us, we the people of Travis Country can be an outstanding example shining out on to the rest of Austin and the world of what a great place we live in and what amazing people surround us.  
 
“Do a little bit of good where you are: it’s those little bits of good put together that OVERWHELM the world.” -Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town.
 
It is with great thanksgiving that I live in the community of Travis Country and am proud to call this place my home.

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