Categorized | Opinion

Tis the Season to be thankful

Open Mike for webBy Mike T. Smith

It’s here. This past week marked the official start of the holiday season.
It doesn’t matter that some stores have had Christmas decorations up since Labor Day.
Thanksgiving week is it. The debate is over. Everyone agrees. But let’s take it one step at a time. Step one: Thanksgiving. Now, Thanksgiving is a very special day even if you take away football, parades and coma inducing meals. The kind that makes you swear to yourself that you will never overeat again (you are fooling no one).
It’s a time to stop and reflect on what you have, not what you want. From the material things like the house that you live in and the family and friends that help mold your character through association and advice.
Last but not least, the experiences in life that teach you how to adapt, change and become stronger than you would have ever been had you not been through them.When I was in fourth grade I was having issues with a group of guys in the old neighborhood. They bullied me constantly to the point I started taking the long route home from school to avoid them. This lasted almost the entire school year. Even though I was getting in better shape physically from the extra steps taken five days a week it wrecked me emotionally. I didn’t know how to deal with bullies. Until I had a no holds barred conversation with my Uncle Doug. After a short, but difficult, conversation with him in my front yard he changed my perception and mindset towards the bullies and how and why I should deal with them.He looked at me and said, “How long are you going to let people who care nothing about you run your life?” With that one phrase he changed my thought process and motivation. It was still difficult to deal with them but I dealt with it the next day after I had been putting it off for months. Now I’m thankful for hard times and hard words from loved ones.
Those are the moments when your character grows, and you become better from it. Take time right now and write down five difficult experiences in your life and how someone helped you through them. Then call the person or people up on your list and thank them.Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and Merry Christmas to all, and to all a….wait, too early?Mike T. Smith is a bullying expert, youth motivational speaker and author. He’s also scheduled to defend his Guitar Hero title when family gets together on Thanksgiving Day. Wish him luck. Sign up for tips on surviving bullying at
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December 2014
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