Gratitude Day 342

Sat., Oct. 19, 2019

Matthew 7:12: (Jesus said,) “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

It’s Saturday … the weekend. Here’s just a few random thoughts from the Vielhuber household. You just might notice a theme here.

Everyone is in the customer service business. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. In the last two weeks, I’ve received good customer service. Other times, it’s been rather rotten. Whether you are “officially” a customer service person or not, we ALL have opportunities to be kind, thoughtful and respect of other people. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

The Golden Rule is golden because it should reflect how we want to treat others. When you have an opportunity to make someone feel special, take the extra 30 or 60 seconds and do it. Seriously. Most of the time, this is all it really takes.

Don’t judge a person’s life by their cover. What’s on the inside my surprise you. In Ripon, WI, Dennis Valstad was just an ordinary guy. He worked at the local canning facility and later the dry cleaners. Not wanting to retire, he drove fertilizer truck and delivered fire trucks.

Dennis died this summer. After his funeral, his will was read. Everyone who attended his funeral or visitation received a share of $500,000. After careful tallying, 267 people each received $1,872. In a family of five, each person received a check.  

Dennis also left gifts to other charities and organizations. Most people would not have thought Dennis had these resources. A couple who are planning a destination wedding intended to invite Dennis to their wedding and pay for his travel expenses. Instead, Dennis’ gift will help cover wedding costs.  

Moral of Dennis’ story? Be creative in being a good person. Surprise someone by being completely different than what might be expected.

People love to support local needs. I am thankful to be involved in a couple local programs which help people teetering financially. Yesterday, the board for one of those groups met. This group provides food for needy families in our community.

I’m so proud to be part of a group that makes it easy for people to get food. We don’t ask about income or job status. If possible, we’d like an address. That’s it.

People may wonder how the food pantry can have enough when we make it so easy to qualify. I say, “Be generous in your giving and others will want to be a part of this.” I see this over and over. Be generous with your time, talents and resources. Others will do likewise. When we set the example of holding loosely to what we have, God blesses this. It’s easy to do the right thing … if we allow ourselves to look beyond wanting to make too many rules.

Another reason why people are generous with our local food pantry? They know every donated dollar, can of food and loaf of bread stays local. Right here in our community. People love to support something that truly affects their neighbors.

Working together to help others is always a good thing. As I sat at the food pantry annual meeting, I thought about how this program works closely with another program I’m involved with; our local Blessings in a Backpack Program. Because we’ve developed a great relationship with the school, we are able to supply very specific needs the school students. When we’ve had extra Blessings food, we’ve made it available at local community events.

I could go on and on with other examples. My point? Wheels do not need to be remade. Partner with others to get things done. Make a difference with small, little things that make a huge impact on other people’s lives. THIS is living the golden rule.

Begin to think now about how YOU can make a difference this holiday season. It’s a time of year when people tend give a bit more. Hubby Rick and I talk through how we want to help others before the end of the year. We have an unwritten guideline that says we will give to others about the same that we spend on Christmas gifts each year.

Why do we do this? For most of the people we will give gifts, the gift is not a necessity. Rick and I feel it is just as important to share with those who have true NEEDS; not just WANTS. It’s a way that we can look beyond ourselves and see where there are gaps and try to help with those gaps.

Be in the customer service business every day. This goes back to my first point. I know we’re all busy and don’t always make time to do everything we could or should. I’m very guilty of this myself. I should stop and chat with my neighbors more. I could be more patient with a representative on the phone. Sometimes, I just need to take a deep breath. Not focus on the clock and be the hands and feet of God to someone else today. When I do this, I am rarely disappointed.

For every opportunity to live the golden rule that comes my way today, this week and this month, I am grateful. 

Dear God – We spend so much time focusing on how we want others to treat ourselves that we forget to think about how WE are treating others. Challenge us to think less of our needs and more of how we can assist someone else today. Help us become comfortable about going outside of our closely held boxes and shine Jesus’ love upon them. Amen.

Blessings –


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