Five years after founding The Gratitude Campaign, I've received over 10,500 e-mails, and 1,500 comments on YouTube. It seems that there is a lot to talk about with regard to gratitude for those who serve; not the least of which is the ever present challenge of understanding how to keep the politics out of it. Hopefully this blog will give us an opportunity for some rational, reasonable, and respectful discussion. I hope you'll join us...

~Scott Truitt, FOUNDER


Monday, January 11, 2010

On Christmas Spirit

I know that that headline might seem a little odd for a blog posted on January 12th. Christmas is over, right? Yes it is. The Christmas tree has been taken down, the Christmas music removed from our iPods to make room for more mainstream stuff, and the gifts are all placed in their new homes next to all the old stuff -- to the point that the newness of them has almost already warn off.

What I find interesting about this time of year and what I wanted to comment on is this:

How many of us watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special every year? And how many more just enjoy the Vince Guaraldi music from that special? In his song, “Christmas Time is Here” there is a line that says, “Oh that we could always see such spirit through the year.” There’s another song in my rotation called “I Wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas” by Jon Bon Jovi. And I’m sure that there are many more with similar sentiments that we all sing along with, fully entrenched in the Christmas spirit, and think, “Yeah – I wish every day could be like Christmas, too.” The warm, fuzzy feeling that we have at that time of year; the open-heartedness; the willingness to reach out to, and care for, and love our fellow man -- I know that that sounds sappy and sentimental now that we’re out of the Christmas season. But really, what’s so crazy about that idea? If we can be that way at Christmas (or Hanukah, or Kwanza, or Ashura, or Solstice, or whatever you choose to celebrate this time of year), what is stopping us from being that way all year? It’s amazing how quickly that feeling goes away, and we settle right back into our routines and our self-centeredness.

When we think of January, we tend to think of the New Year, and of resolutions. How many of us make resolutions that have anything to do with reaching out to other people like we did at Christmas? I’m guessing not too many. Resolutions tend to be about losing weight, reaching our financial goals, quitting smoking… which are all good things, of course. I’m just struck by how quickly we return to thinking about “me, me, me.”

So this week, I’d like to suggest a different kind of resolution. What if we resolved to show our Holiday spirit all throughout the year? What if we reached out to our fellow man, and showed compassion, and understanding, and respect to others every day of the year? What if we focus our attention on how much we are alike with the people around us, rather than how we are different, and we deal with those people with love rather than fear? It may sound sappy and idealistic, but I can live with that. I’d rather live with that than the alternative. And I’m man enough to be sappy and sentimental and be ok with it. I’ve had great role models who've been man enough to be loving and compassionate and serve their fellow man - a Captain, and a Master Sergeant just to name two. And I can follow their lead. How about you?

1 comment:

  1. First, when The Gratitude Campaign was first begun, I was thankful to learn through TV coverage of the video of a way to publicly say, "Thank you" to our many servicemen and women. Today, having learned of the set-up of this blog and reading from it for the first time, I wholeheartedly agree that our nation needs to be mindful that this is not simply about "me, me, me." Thank you for all you are doing to help promote thankful hearts and a way to show our military a thankful nation.
    Marilyn Sue


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