The true value of a gift isn’t always measured by its price tag. Some of the most precious gifts cost nothing at all … and can be life-changing. Many people simply need to be loved, listened to or appreciated.
There are many gifts that cost us nothing, but are priceless in value and make a great impact when given away, such as passing on a compliment.
But there are also many others. For instance:
- Not passing on an insult even when it may have been very witty.
- Offering an encouraging word for someone trying something new.
- Taking time to listen.
- Talking to someone you’ve been taught to ignore, such as a person of a different race or a homeless person.
- Helping an elderly neighbor or a single mom.
- Speaking up when someone makes an abusive or inaccurate comment.
- Staying calm under attack and venting your anger somewhere else.
- Taking the time to research a rumor, then spreading the facts to counter it.
- Returning good for evil.
- Passing on information about job openings or other opportunities.
- Giving a word of praise to someone whose efforts may have been overlooked.
- Paying attention to what is happening around your neighbor’s house while they’re away.
- Speaking up for someone whose character is being insulted.
- Getting involved in your local neighborhood association or community.
- Working to make sure the needs of everyone in the community are addressed, not just the folks with the most money.
- Tutoring a child.
These are just a few gift ideas that could make a lasting impact upon someone’s life and bring joy to the giver. This holiday season consider how our community would be affected if everyone looked for opportunities to give someone a life-changing gift for Christmas.
We have all been taught that there are two types of people in the world — those that give and those that take. This is nothing new as even back at the time of the first Christmas there were those who thought only of themselves (no room in the inn) and then those who traveled miles to bestow three gifts to the new King.
When I think back on how our community has been blessed, it takes me back to how our citizens not only respond in a time of need, but also for the most part, how they are on a daily basis.
Now don’t get me wrong. There is always room for improvement, but as a general rule Bradley County, and the cities of Charleston and Cleveland, continue to lead by example in many areas. This concern for others is not something that is just here for a day or two, but is truly a part of the fabric of our being, so to speak.
This concern for others, a giving spirit and going the extra mile as part of the daily behavior of the vast majority of our populous, is truly deeper than just Southern hospitality.
This is also strongly rooted in our society that believes that when one succeeds we all succeed; and, that it is in our best interest to work together for a common goal of a stronger, more unified and safer community for all.
As we start this New Year, let us all take time to not only look back at what could have been, but also let us try looking forward to what is possible.
On behalf of Bradley County government, I wish every citizen a safe, healthy and happy Christmas. It is an honor to serve Bradley County and I am again thankful this Christmas for the trust you place in me.
My wife, Sonya, and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!