Give Thanks: Be Happier and Healthier

8:16 p.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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This thread is for comments on the article "Give Thanks: Be Happier and Healthier"

This week, you can't avoid being told to give thanks. But, there's more to gratitude than cursory platitudes. Regular reflection on the good things in your life can make you not only more grateful, but also happier, healthier, and more engaged in life. And whether you're a ski bum, peak bagger, or dirt bag climber, who doesn't want a more positive, rewarding life, indoors and out? ...

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10:35 a.m. on November 25, 2010 (EST)
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Great thoughts, Alicia. I have too many things to list :)

10:23 p.m. on November 25, 2010 (EST)
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I would have to say, my family, my health, my freedom.

I am also very intrigued by the link you posted to Women for Women, my wife and I contribute what we can to a couple other organizations who work in a similar capacity. I think the need for helping these people can't be overstated, they need opportunity,  to know there is hope, and that people care. I would encourage people to give what they can, even if it is only 5 dollars a month, it does add up.

12:14 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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I'm glad you both have so many things to list and be grateful for. Most of us probably have more than we think about regularly. I know that's true for me.

Trout, if you or your wife are interested in Women for Women, you might want to read A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman by Lisa Shannon. The author got involved by sponsoring women in the Congo. Your library may have a copy of her book. After reading it I immediately became a sponsor.

You can donate funds once to the entire organization or sponsor an individual annually. The sponsorship pays for the women to get one year of training in areas like education, human rights, health, business practices, etc. A small percentage is given to them on their one-year graduation from the program. The aim is to make them self-sufficient leaders in their communities. The organization focuses on war-affected regions.

What's neat about sponsorship is that you're paired with an actual participant you can send letters, emails, and pictures to (for privacy reasons communications go through the organization, plus many participants can't write, so interpreters actually write the letters).

I've learned a bit about what it means to be a female cassava farmer in Nigeria without any education at all, no running water, no electricity, etc. And it's made me much more appreciative of my own opportunities. I honestly think that while I'm glad I can make a difference in someone's life, the opportunity to do so makes a positive difference in mine.

There are lots of organizations that do good works out there, whether you support them by volunteering time, money, or expertise.

Next time around I may sponsor a woman in Afghanistan or Iraq.

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