Monthly Challenge for November

Theme:

Understanding Honor and Today’s Thanksgiving. 

In the context of this theme, there should be an inward reflection as we acknowledge those who protect and defend the ideas of our country, those who facilitate the process for us to be able to enjoy our liberties and pursue our dreams.

This is an important time of the year to reflect on the past and current sacrifices, individually and collectively, one’s current undertakings, and meanings associated with such works.  

Each day, we can elect to grow on a personal level through a quest of higher order thinking that is applied by service-related interaction in a variety of settings. This month, we have another meaningful challenge that centers around our understanding of the works honor and thanksgiving. 

Charles Spurgeon stated that “before you go out into the world, wash your face in the clear crystal of praise. Bury each yesterday in the fine linen and spices of thankfulness.”

Richard Gilder eloquently stated that “better than honor and glory, and history’s iron pen, was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow men.”

Look within at how you view your blessings and ability to bless others. As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, we must be mindful of those who played and those who continue to play pivotal roles in the opportunities before us, and for this we give thanks. This may include rendering recognition for contributions of guidance, giving, and governance. Furthermore, this holiday season should be the fire for us to do better in the execution of all affairs.

President John F. Kennedy said: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Based on my years of interactions and observations during my travels, I find that various individuals and communities in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving for various reasons.

Focus:

During this month the challenge is to contribute in two profound ways. 

First:

Do a notable deed for an aging or disabled Veteran once a week for the entire month. This can be conducted at the individual, family, or organizational level. This act can be as simple as doing home chores for a Veteran, running errands or assisting in much needed home repairs. Furthermore, one can take a fruit tray to a Veteran’s Administration (VA) hospital or the home of an area elderly Veteran. Regardless of the endeavor, spend quality time listening to the Veteran. Take advantage of the opportunity by noting their significant contributions of military service.

Second:

Share a moment of thanks with at least two elders each week during this reflective and most appreciative month. This sharing can be complemented with greeting cards, flowers, or fruit trays. Take advantage of the time by learning about one of their most passionate skills, treasured lesson from experience, the trails of their parents and grandparents, or their noteworthy accomplishments during their high-performance years.

Make it personal:

A sense of appreciation is the goal for this month.

Develop an individual matrix for measuring enlightenment and inspirational gains through direct contact with those you acknowledge and / or aid. 

Create a Win:

Every moment shared is a session of enlightenment. Therefore, document and share your experience with young adults in your circle of communication.

The Benefits:

Honor and Thanksgiving will be more meaningful to you and others because of your direct efforts to learn, serve and make a difference.

Equally, you will share your blessing and implant long-term joy upon the hearts with others – just by being there.

Growth Resources:

** Why I Serve. Retrieved at: https://www.learningtogive.org/courses/why-i-serve

** Five Reasons to Serve Others. Retrieved at: https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2012/0210/Five-reasons-to-serve-others

** My Journey of Learning How to Have a Moral Thanksgiving. Retrieved at:  https://auburnseminary.org/voices/moral-thanksgiving/

Quote:

The willingness to serve, despite the conditions, can afford one the opportunity to understand the importance of freedom. At times, a challenge can stem from a variety of internal and external conditions. Such conditions can be understood and offset by those willing to sacrifice time, health, sometimes wealth, and even self for the greater good of others. Many have sacrificed and I, too, have benefited from traces of other’s grace. 

– Joe Shakeenab