Thankful Nov. Day 13: Thankful for Kindness

courtesy/theanjananetwork.net

courtesy/theanjananetwork.net

A friend of mine commented on yesterday’s post about furry friends and in asking about if anyone has had a turkey for a pet, it reminded me of how a joke, turned into a somewhat act of kindness and saved a turkey’s life. Yes every year the president will pardon a turkey for Thanksgiving, but this isn’t the same. This happened in a small mountain town in Colorado called Salida. This is definitely a true story, funny but true.

One of the editors at the newspaper I used to work for took a photo of a white turkey and put it on the front page of the paper in advance of Thanksgiving. The caption talked about how many people eat turkey for the holiday and that this particular turkey was planned to be someone’s meal. As it so happens, the turkey’s owner, had been feeding him Pabst beer to help flavor the turkey. For all you vegans and vegetarians out there, don’t go away yet. This story gets better.

The photo ran and boy did it get a response. I can’t remember the woman’s name now, but she felt compelled to find a way to save Pabst (that’s the name given to the turkey after this whole incident). After seeing him on the front page of the paper and referring to him as “dinner” didn’t quite sit well with her and so she gathered a small force of local folks to find a way to save Pabst. This has been a while so my memory is not getting a bit sketchy on the details, but I remember thinking she struck a deal with the turkey’s owner to raise money to save him. If an x-amount of money was raised, then she could save him and the money would be donated to some local group that needed it.

The money had to be raised in time for the local holiday events, The Christmas Prelude. The Christmas Prelude is a three-day event that helps kick off the Christmas season that includes a lighted parade and the lighting of S Mountain, the local mountain that has a “S” on the side. The lighting is really something to see and I recommend you all looking it up. It’s a wonderful event and lovely thing to see. I have photos of it but I’ll have to post it later I’m afriad.

It took some effort, but enough money was raised and the lovely white turkey, Pabst, was saved from certain doom. Pabst was featured in the lighted parade that year and received a big applause from the crowd. It was a bit of a joke, but really, what sticks out to me is that kindness was shown to a creature most don’t think too much of other than for a meal once or twice a year. It also helped that the money raised would also end up benefiting a local group who would need it.

The amount of kindness that happens in this world is amazing. I think we so often forget about it because we get caught up in the sadness of war, all the anger about various things that happen in our lives, how terrible people treat each other, etc. It’s easy to get lost in that black hole of despair and negativity. There are many more stories of good happening than we give credit for.

The optimist in me is seeing that there are more and more stories of the positive nature coming to light and that’s because people, readers, viewers, are demanding it. We need more positive in our lives to better handle the negative when it does happen. Earlier this year there was a story of an on-duty cop who purchased new shoes for a homeless man who didn’t have any and it was bitter cold. He even helped the man put the shoes on. This homeless man may not have kept the shoes or who knows what happened, but that’s not the point. The point is… someone was willing to help him. That’s real beauty.

courtesy/leadchangegroup.com

courtesy/leadchangegroup.com

I read a story in recent months about a young man who possibly gave up his shot put dream to help a cancer patient. It turns out the doctors gave the patient six-months to live and this young man, 21 years old, didn’t hesitate to say yes to donating bone morrow. The donation and recovery would interfere with the championship but that didn’t bother this young guy. That’s true sacrifice for someone else and there’s nothing more gracious or beautiful than that.

I am always grateful to hear about these stories as they restore my faith in humanity. It helps me to remember to be more kind than is necessary, as I’ve heard said before, to others because you don’t know that person’s story. You don’t know what their day was like or what hardships they are dealing with in their lives. It’s not always easy to be kind, especially to those who seem undeserving, but more than likely, it’s those folks who need it most. I try very hard to remember this as I go from here. I hope that I’ve been kind to others and I hope that I will continue to be and will be more so in the future. It’s so needed in a world that has so much chaos these days. Pain, hurt, anger can only be cured with understanding and kindness. Sappy… yes, but I believe it to be true. People may say that’s wishful thinking. Perhaps, but as long as I believe that’s the case, it means it’s possible.

Oh and before I forget – today in history – the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1982. I also meant to mention yesterday that it was Young Reader’s Day. It’s always a good day to get out and read and get the youngsters reading. Also for yesterday – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Women’s Rights Leader, was born in 1815. That’s a big deal.

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