November 2022 Editor's Note: Gratitude & Generosity
by stephanie toews, executive editor
It is not happiness that brings us gratitude. It is gratitude that brings us happiness.
A couple of weeks ago, I felt a pressing inclination to call my grandfather in Georgia. This was unusual as I don’t love the phone or typically choose to communicate with him this way. His health was failing, and I wanted a chance to express my gratitude for his impact on me throughout my life. I thanked him for his example of faith and love. I thanked him for his prayers. I thanked him for the legacy he is leaving for all of his children and grandchildren, and I told him how much I love him. One week later, he left this earth and arrived home. That phone call ended up being the last time I spoke to Grandpa, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to say thank you. We truly never know how much time we have left with our loved ones, so taking advantage of every opportunity to express what is in our hearts is crucial.
Thank you, two words that have tremendous power to encourage and bless both the giver and receiver. And they are just one way to live out a life of gratitude. Gratefulness activates the brain's reward center, altering how we see the world and ourselves. Gratitude is powerful, and there are endless ways to express and live it out. Gratitude changes things; it changes hearts, attitudes, and relationships. When we feel appreciated, we want to work harder and do so with a positive attitude. It’s contagious. It can become a practice ingrained into your life, bringing joy, contentment, and a shift in focus from all that’s wrong in the world to all that’s right.
This time of the year tends to provoke a lot of reflection and is a great opportunity to focus on our many blessings. The November issue provides a chance to thank and acknowledge some of the wonderful organizations within our community who are giving back and taking action to improve our city in diverse ways. This season, we hope that you find inspiration to express gratitude through generosity (perhaps to one of our local non-profits) with your time, talents, or treasures—what a beautiful way to give back to the givers in our midst. Let’s be a generous community.
101 Ways to Be the Change
November is a time to show gratitude and give thanks. It’s also the perfect time of year to practice good deeds and random acts of kindness. Whether you have a little spare time give, a unique skill to share or a few extra dollars to lend, a small good deed can make a world of difference. Here are 101 ways to be a difference maker in your community.