Chris Dinkins Contributing Columnist
November 20, 2013
As the holiday break approaches, what have you turned your attention to? Whether you are Generation X or Generation Y or not even sure of the name for your generation, the Thanksgiving Holiday is generally considered as the point where it is okay to start looking towards Christmas. This brings me back to my original question. “What is the focus of your attention?”
Today’s young people have the unfortunate reputation of being many negative things – selfish, impatient, disrespectful, ill-mannered, etc. Every young person should ponder that point for a while because it will surface again in many other articles, discussions, lectures (Young World or otherwise). Is that designation truly earned or is that just a poor perception of today’s youth? I can’t say one way or the other. What is absolutely certain is that what’s on your mind is generally on your heart and will soon come out of your mouth, in some way or another.
Is your mind on what you will be getting for Christmas? Have you been checking for which stores will have “sales” on the items you want for Christmas? If so, then that is where your attention is – YOU. Is your mind on what you will be giving for Christmas or which stores will help you save the most money? If so, then that is where your attention is. Whether you are preparing to get or preparing to give away this Christmas, you are still preparing for Christmas when you should be preparing for the season of Thankfulness.
Thanksgiving is not the “Starting Line” for the Christmas Race. Thanksgiving is a period in which we should pause for a moment of reflection directed to all those things and people we appreciate. As a young person, who do you appreciate? What have you to be thankful for? Very often, Thanksgiving is a time for gathering with family – relatives we seldom see and some we see everyday. Enjoy the time with people who have your best interest at heart. Relish the wisdom and memories that flow from the elders in your family. Yes, they are old(er)! But with God’s grace, you also will be old one day. Enjoy their stories, their hugs and their experiences. For at least this season, turn your attention away from you and the things you want. Instead, direct your attention to your reasons for being Thankful in this season.
Columnist Chris Dinkins is an educator and native South Carolinian. Send questions and comments about youth related issues to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.