The Joy of Giving
Thank you can either mean a lot to someone, or it can mean nothing at all. Similar to "I love you", it can bring light and joy, or simply go in one ear and out the other. Over the past year, I've received as many thanks as those that I've given out. The root of it all is giving. Many people get caught up in all the holiday commercialism that goes on, and not enough realize that giving to those behind us is more than just material objects of gratitude. I give to the youth because I understand their need to grow in order to expand their minds and distract them from all the jargon that takes place in our communities. I didn't have people that were available to distract me, thus, it has always been a mission for me to be that person that enlightens children and young adults to other things outside of their norm. Simple things like taking my cousins from Hunt's Point to Chelsea Piers or Dylans Candy Bar shows them that there's other playgrounds aside from the block and exposes them to interact with children of other backgrounds.
I can go on with a list of things that I do for kids and young adults. The point is to extend your hand and become memorable in someone's life. Parents should teach your children to give withought the fear of getting something in return. My newphew is 1 years old and I am teaching him the gift of giving already. It's something that for a lot of us comes from home training. Your motive to give should always be to make someone's life or day a little better than it is. Some people will do the best actions with the worst motives. Don't be one of those people, our society has done enough with hurtful motives.
Before the year is out ask your children to select some of the toys they no longer use to leave at the shelter for others, or when you do your holiday traveling go outside of your resorts and donate some of your goods to families in need. There's so much work to be done. Just look around. I can't do it all, but as long as I am breathing as Ghislaine Leon and I can write, I will continue to give to the youth around me and be a strong advocate for giving.