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By Thomas F. O'Neill

It can be extremely difficult especially with the coronavirus pandemic to maintain an upbeat and positive attitude during these trying times in America. Especially, with the rise in coronavirus cases and deaths in US hospitals.

That being said, I still love to teach my students about this special thanksgiving season it is the season of giving in America. The world can learn a great deal about the value of being thankful for what we have in life and the special people in our lives.

I conduct a lesson every school year about the history of thanksgiving and its meaning and importance for us Americans.

I like to explain to my students that being thankful is a powerful affirmation it brings more of what we want into our life. When we are thankful for the things, we have, we will attract more goodness into our lives and the lives of those around us.

The yuletide season is once again upon us with all the hustle and bustle of mad shoppers. I for one will not participate in the frenzy of Black Friday like millions do in America and I never will.

I am one of those people who simply enjoys the sharing and to give thanks for the special people in my life. That truly makes this time of year special for me because I surely have plenty to be thankful for. Throughout my life people have gone out of their way to be kind to me and I like to tell my students in class when you care for others you are cared for and when you love others you are loved. This special season of giving should reveal our love for one another through kindness because loving kindness gives this special season its true meaning.

There was a time though when I felt the season of giving was simply a common courtesy to receive and provide our significant others with material gifts. I now understand more clearly that this special season is for heartfelt acts of gratitude for having people in our lives. When keeping the true spirit of giving close to our heart it enables us to give from the heart all year- round.

The yuletide season should be a time when our love comes to call because that love gives this time of year its true meaning. I have found over the years, though, that it's not the material gifts that count in life but rather it's the unrecognized, undetected, and unremembered acts of loving- kindness that are our greatest gifts and achievements in life.

If we truly want to see a world of loving and joyous people, we must be loving and joyous toward the people in our own lives. That potential is part of our humanity.

When we reach out and touch others, we touch a part of the humanity that is within us. When we enhance the life of another in need, we in turn enhance our own lives.

Objects gift-wrapped in shiny paper can be forgotten over time, but kindness whispered to those in need will echo endlessly throughout the community. Those small acts of kindness resonate with the giver and the receiver because they are gifts from the heart. Such priceless gifts can never be measured monetarily though because how can you put a price on love?

From my heart to yours I would like to wish all of you a very joyous holiday season.

    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
      Phone: (800) 272-6464
      WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
      U.S. Voice mail: (410) 925-9334
      China Mobile: 011 (86) 13405757231
      Skype: thomas_f_oneill

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