Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thanksgiving for Helping Hands
"Never hesitate to hold out your hand…never hesitate to accept the outstretched hand of another."
--Pope John XXIII
As we begin to wind-down the year, and especially this short work-week in anticipation of Thanksgiving, it is important to recognize the need for a sense of balance in all things, including some matters we take for granted.
On Wednesday, most of you are going to blow out of the office mid-afternoon, and be on your way, over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house…or as some of you in my age group are discovering, they’re coming over the river and through the woods to your house.
Welcome to reality, grand-daddy!
We are taught to be thankful for the things that we have, the blessings we have received, and to become more aware of those around us who are in need.
We are all in need, truth be told.
For every person living under a bridge, in a pasteboard carton, or at a shelter, there is a social counterpart living in a warm, dry house, a comfortable apartment, or among a loving family and friends.
For every person in need, there is somebody—hopefully many somebodies—who are in need of giving help.
People need to be able to give.
Yes we all need to be thankful…but we who can, also need to be allowed to help.
There are some this Thanksgiving that may be too ashamed to ask for assistance; too proud to acknowledge that this year didn’t go as well as you thought that it would. This year has been tough…but even among the survivors, there are other needs to be addressesd--including the need to contribute, to give assistance, to shoulder the load for others.
If a friend offers you a helping hand, take it; for it is true that it is more blessed to give than to receive. You who are in need of help can also be a help by allowing help to be given to you.
It makes the giver a stronger individual…and it allows a blessing to be bestowed. Accepting help from another does not necessarily create an obligation from you to them; because those who are well-off are obligated by virtue of their prosperity to share with others. That’s what makes the fabric of our society strong… and our strength is greatest when we can do this unbidden, without government edict, from the goodness and the plenty of our hearts.
And isn't that what thanks-giving and thanks-getting is all about?