I am not a very grateful person. I want to be and try to be but usually fall short. Others showing gratitude inspire me. I was in the nearby city of Tanga a few days ago and saw my friend (I will call him Shukrani) who is very poor. He begs outside the grocery store where rich people like me shop. He walks with a cane and cannot see very well. He also wears worn out flip flops, size 10 blue. As I was waiting for Michele, I saw someone befriending him. They showed interest and gave him their time, not just a coin like some others do. They also saw his feet. After a while they went together to a nearby shop and the stranger purchased a new pair of red slippers for him. The shop owner even reduced the price from 1500 to 1000 shillings (70 cents) because I think he knew the slippers were being purchased for a poor man. Shukrani was standing behind anxiously waiting for his new red shoes, and upon receiving them in a small clear plastic bag he seemed to hold them like a new born baby. His face was full of gratitude along with words of thanksgiving that were repeatedly expressed to the stranger. I want to be more shukrani (thankful in Swahili). I want to glow with gratitude over the small things as well as the big ones.

May it be especially so this time of year.

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Denton, TX 76209



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