Gratitude is complete through Generosity
Last updated 11/25/2021 at 7:26pm
This is the time of year that everyone talks about gratitude. It’s as if there’s an obligation to bring it up because, after all, we have a holiday named after it, Thanksgiving. My first thought is, what a shame that we don’t talk about gratitude more regularly. It can’t possibly be that we as a people are only grateful from November to December each year, and the rest of the time, we’re just _ _ _ – fill in the blank. Thanksgiving does remind us to be grateful. I’m thankful for that.
So, what can we do with that gratitude? Is it enough to just think about it or make pronouncements about it? I’d like to propose that especially this year, with everything we have all endured over the past two years, that we need to do much more than think or talk about gratitude. We need to act on that gratitude in ways that help others.
The funny thing about acting on a grand scale, stemming from gratitude, is that it benefits not only the person doing the action, but the entire community of people receiving the action. I’m suggesting that we must take our gratitude and multiply it by showing generosity.
So, how does this relate to real estate? If you talk with me, I could bring most any topic around to real estate. Real estate to me is a place we call home, a place where we work, worship, learn, dine, or buy things; real estate is a location, and it is part of every part of our lives. When we show generosity to the places I mentioned above, it lifts-up entire groups of people, entire communities.
I want to start out by focusing our gratitude on our local businesses. If you’re thankful for this wonderful village, the cluster of real estate we live in, it probably has something to do with how charming, how friendly, how easy, and how familiar Fallbrook feels. It feels this way, because someone took a chance and opened a shop or restaurant they thought you would enjoy and support.
I am in my office Monday through Friday and I know the owners and I appreciate their love of this village. I support each one of them throughout the year, in ways that I am able.
Let’s start with the retail shops along Main Avenue. You can show your gratitude for the blessings in your life and pay that gratitude forward by shopping locally, first, and as often as possible. Yes, I know, it’s easier to shop on-line. But who does that benefit? No one locally. No one from that big store in the cloud is going to say hi to you in the grocery store, or wave to you when they see you on the street. Did you know that 86% of every dollar spent locally goes right back into the local marketplace? When you shop on-line, none of the money spent goes back to the local marketplace.
How about the restaurants? They could all use a “gratitude” hug this year. They have been closed, then partially opened, and now finally open but with less staff, shortages in the food supplies, and higher prices for the food they are able to acquire. The challenges continue for our restaurants. They need your generous support, now.
There is another community within Fallbrook that needs your support, especially at this time of year. Every nonprofit in Fallbrook has had to reinvent themselves to be able to provide their usual services to their clients, as well as find new ways to raise the much-needed funds to pay for the services they provide. Many of them lost much of this entire year, not being able to do live events to raise operational funds. They are all slowly starting up again, but it’s very hard to play catch-up in a world full of need that doesn’t stop needing just because how we were allowed to operate changed.
So, here’s your next challenge. After you do your shopping in Fallbrook for the Christmas gifts you will be giving this year. After you enjoy dining at one of Fallbrook’s local restaurants. Check out some of the many non-profits that could use some extra Christmas cheer in the form of a cash donation.
Do you love animals? Then pay your gratitude forward by generously donating cash, pet food, pet supplies or support to pay for veterinary care of the many creatures the Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary cares for. You could add your name to the list of foster families, so if the sanctuary needs a home for the one too many cats that arrive in the spring, they will know they can count on you. Could you enjoy a new pet? Check out Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary before you look anywhere else. It is a known fact that having a pet is good for our health. Petting and caring for your four-legged friend calms you down. It reminds you of what is important. Companionship, something many of us are short on, can be eased when you own a pet.
Do you love seniors? Pay your gratitude forward by generously donating cash to the Foundation for Senior Care or the Fallbrook Senior Center. You could be available to deliver lunches to homebound seniors or drop off a “care package” to simply show some love. You could financially support a banner on the Foundation for Senior Care Van or pay for a month's worth of gas so the van can pick up and deliver seniors to their doctor appointments or pick up groceries for their kitchens. How about writing a short note or sending a sweet card to a senior who is shut in? The generosity of the heart is just as important as the generosity of the pocketbook.
Do you have a heart for the many people who continue to be out of work and must choose to either pay their rent or purchase food? Then donate to the Fallbrook Food Pantry. You can donate cash to help support their food deliveries, or donate food to stock their shelves, or donate your time to help bag the groceries for pick-up by the many daily visitors. You could even adopt an entire family for the holidays. Despite travel restrictions easing up, there are still some challenges that might keep us home. Why not pay your love forward to someone who could use an extra “hug” this time of year?
Are children at the top of your list when you think about helping? Be a Boys and Girls Club sponsor. The Boys and Girls Club found new and creative ways to support the many children during the pandemic, who had parents who were able to work, so couldn’t be home to help their children and keep them safe. Our children are some of our most vulnerable. We need safe places like the Boys and Girls Club to step in and fill that crucial need. Consider generously donating to the programs that they provide.
One last place you can show your gratitude is by subscribing to the Village News. I know that, if you’re reading this column, you are a reader of the Village News. We all love reading the local stories and articles. I personally love the opinion pieces and Julie Reeder’s publisher’s commentary. When our children were in school, we loved reading about the sports and other school programs and awards. Our little town newspaper keeps us connected with each other and right now we could use a little more connection. But folks, the paper needs your support. Last week it ran a special that cost $1.00 for the first month and only $5.99 per month thereafter. That’s only $67 a year.
At our office, we have a “newsstand” with copies of the Village News for visitors or new residents to Fallbrook. However, week after week, I see the same local individuals picking up a copy “for free” when they could be subscribing and thereby supporting the newspaper. It’s time to stop freeloading and start supporting. Let’s show our gratitude for this unique and nearly extinct form of news and community information by being generous and taking out a subscription.
Fallbrook has shown gratitude to many over the years; this year, let’s pay it forward by being generous to the businesses who have been most greatly impacted. Thank you, Fallbrook.
Kim Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or 760-415-9292 or at 130 N Main Avenue, in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.