Giving Back To Others

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This is the time of the year where Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Every year, millions flock to their local supermarkets and shop for copious amounts of groceries and presents to enjoy a homemade feast with the company of friends and family, but for some, this might not even be a possibility.

Being thankful for what you have is a concept often overlooked. We always want more, want something different, or want what we can’t have without realizing that there are others who have far less. Being thankful for what you have is not the same as appreciating something you don’t have a need for.

Everyday, people lose things that can change their life. One day you could have a roof over your head and food on the table, then the next day you have that taken away from you for unforeseen circumstances. You have no one to rely on, no financial backup to get by, and no hope to get back on your feet. We see these kinds of people all the time, yet most of the time we do nothing but continue walking past them, ignoring their presence or hoping not to end up like them.

Whether you are feeling really hungry, or going to grab some Starbucks for a quick fix, remember that you can survive the rest of that day enough to wake up for the following morning. Some barely have the strength to hold their begging cup and may not even wake up the next morning. So think about it next time you walk past a homeless person, and ask yourself if it’s really necessary to spend $15 for a meal that would last you one sitting or $8 for a cup of coffee that you can most likely make at home. Even if you have nothing to give them, sit next to them and have a conversation. You will be surprised at their stories about how they came to be in their present situation.

The mere few dollars you spend for one thing could be extended to many things if used the right way – you just have to ask yourself what is worth those dollars. The mass amount of volunteering at soup kitchens or food and clothing donations this time of year is not enough. A few days of this particular month of doing a good deed doesn’t help the fact that there are still 11 other months in the year where you could be changing someone’s life. So next time you get a chance, help out that someone on the street. You could make a big difference.

About The Author

Leonard-Angelo Valenzuela

I was born in Quezon City, Philippines and officially came to America in 1996. My hobbies include eating, sleeping, photography, and occasionally, taking long walks in the forest. I am a third year at NJIT and I study Mechanical Engineering Technology. I am currently the Executive Editor for The Vector, who handles the layout of the newspaper. My philanthropy in life is to make other people smile, and let them realize that Something Matters In Life: Everything.

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