It’s The Thought That Counts
As time passes, the world’s focus seems increasingly fixated on material things. People are accumulating big houses, flat screens, and fancy cars, as material trophies of their lives. Rather than a state of well-being; happiness appears to be defined by the quality and quantity of the stuff you receive and give. While gifts today are measured in dollars and cents, I believe that it is the thought that counts.
I have always shared a special closeness with my small family. We often visited my great grandparents, who live in North Riverside. My great grandparents both grew up during the great depression, so like the majority of people in their generation they did not waste anything, enjoyed simple pleasures and valued every dollar. Together, they both shared a common passion in discovering found treasures at garage sales; a great yet tacky way to recycle, and reuse. My great grandma collected little glass figurines, and had accumulated hundreds of them at an average price of twenty five to fifty cents each. As a child, my great grandma would let me admire her vast array of figurines, that seemed to fill every horizontal surface in their home. These treasures provided comfort to her, as well as pleasure and pride. I understood this because I enjoyed my own extensive collections at the time. One visit in particular stands out in my memory; I was seven years old and my younger brother and I were playing with a koala bear figurine. The whole afternoon the little bear captivated our attention. It was easy to see from the expression on her face that she enjoyed watching us play. A few weeks later, my great grandparents came to my house for dinner, she had wrapped up the little bear and gave it to me as a present. The fact that she shared a treasure with me and that it meant so much to her was what gave it meaning.
Recently, when I was cleaning my room, I found the little bear. It reminded me of the value of something given from the heart, and not from the wallet. It was the thought behind the gift that made it so special to me, and helped me to realize that it doesn’t matter what you are given, if anything at all. All that truly matters is the thought behind our actions.
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