Archives for posts with tag: gratitude

Yes, I am two days late with my Thanksgiving post, but what have you, I have been drowning in schoolwork. Have I mentioned how cool my school is? Yes? Well, then let me reiterate.

Every year, thanks to a partnership between Sciences Po and the Reims-Arlington committee (an organization devoted to fostering bonds between Reims and Arlington Country, VA and the US in general) organize a decadent Thanksgiving dinner, complete with champagne, delicious food, and live music. This year was no exception, and as last year the night was fantastic.

I won’t elaborate on the food, which was delicious and gave a French touch to a traditional Thanksgiving menu.

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As the night went on, people started to go dance and at the end of the evening, the funnest thing happened: the band started playing traditional Jewish music, to which we merrily danced, and we got to see our campus’ Jewish community act out traditional celebration dances, which was really great. You see this year Thanksgiving and Hanukkah were on the same day, giving birth to the otherwise little known term of Thanksgivukkah.

As we walked home from the dinner, after having stumbled upon the coolest Christmas-y Santa train for kids and the magical winter lights which accompany it, we started talking about what we were thankful for, as the tradition wants Рand as we should do more than once a year. Good health, family, friends, our education and opportunities, as well as gratitude that we live such easy lives, made the list, as they should. All too often we tend to forget how good we have it and how lucky we are. Thanksgiving night is not one night when shuch a thing happens.

But as much as I enjoy the French celebration of this American holiday, I cannot wait for next year and the chance to finally witness the real deal: a day filled with family (even if it’s not mine given the geographical distance), food, gratitude, and football. Because let’s face it, the football part is crucial as well. Until then, I will happily live on to the memories of my wonderful Turkey Days in France.

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I recently returned from a week-long trip to Rome. While there are homeless people and beggars in France as well, I guess I never felt as compassionate toward them because they are kind of “part of the picture.” But being on vacation, seeing them while I was enjoying myself and eating out and not doing anything about it made me feel a little guilty, to be honest. I’m not the kind of person who gives loads of money to people on the street, especially when said people are sometimes really aggressive (yes, I almost got spat on once when I refused to give cash to a woman wearing a fake baby-belly). Other times when I feel like people aren’t making a show of themselves, I’ll give because they do genuinely need it.

But anyway, we were in Rome and one night walked past a lady who was sleeping on the steps of a building, with some stuff next to her. And I thought to myself that it would be really nice if I had something to put next to her, so that she’d wake up in the morning to a nice surprise. But I didn’t have anything to give that night. However, the next day we found a rose sitting on a water fountain, so we took it and decided to give it to someone who looked sad or alone. And you know what the really sad part about it was? For once we were actually prepared to light up someone’s evening, but did not manage to find someone who looked like he needed it. Which in itself is a good thing, but it was sad to see the rose go to waste.

Last week someone sent me this video of two young men out on a mission to make homeless people smile.

It was refreshing to see that people make the effort to bring happiness to others by simple kindness of spirit. I thought it was a brilliant idea to get them food, money, and clothes – the three things apart from a home of course, which they need the most. I’ve made a pledge to devote more time and money to these kind of endeavours when I have an actual job at which I make actual money. I’m fortunate enough to have all the necessities that allow me to smile – human contact, a house, etc. – so it’s time to spread the love.