I attended a gathering of UM ministers with our Bishop and she shared with us thoughts around the ideas of gratitude and generosity, and how we are given “gifts of each other.”
I see this every day as I have the privilege of working at the Clara McLean Hospitality House, where lodging is provided for those who have loved ones receiving medical care at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. We recently started a program called “Return the Kindness” in which folks may donate a night’s lodging for someone who may need the support in the future. Many of our guests and donors have done this as a way to give back and provide a comfort they have received in staying at Clara’s House.
We also have a fund called the Cancer CARE Fund, to provide support to patients and families coping with the challenges of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Many local groups help raise monies for this fund and many, many people receive support.
In this age, when our culture seems to be one that proclaims scarcity and much of what you hear on television, internet, and social media is a proclamation of scarcity, what a wonderful legacy we can have as we care for one another.
What strikes me about Return the Kindness and the Cancer CARE Fund and programs like them is that they are not as much about “leaving” a legacy as they are about “living” a legacy. Leaving a legacy tends to be about looking towards the future, while living a legacy speaks to the here and now. Right now, we can actually be the legacy we want to leave.
As a community and culture, what might we look like if we were to practice gratitude and generosity as our way of life? How many more ways of sharing all we are given to be could we come up with? Will we choose to be all we can be, with hearts full of gratitude for all we have, and gracefulness in sharing all we are able? No doubt, this requires a shifting of our thoughts from scarcity to generosity, and a willingness to trust in life and look for the joys we may find in the gifts we are one to another!