Friday, November 30, 2007

Alternative Gifts

What about this year giving alternative gifts? Like the gift of friendship, the gift of laughter, the gift of kindness, the gift of forgiveness?

Epicurus said, "Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.

When I taught Introduction to Art & Humanities as an Adjunct Professor my students were required to participate in a creative project. One semester we used the movie "Pay it Forward" as an example. The students were asked to come up with something special they could do for someone anonymously without expecting anything in return. I remember class discussions from this assignment were dynamic and fun. Some of them had to really think about what they could do for someone else especially when the other person wasn't going to know about it. Most of the class really took this seriously. It allowed them to participate in their own education not simply memorize facts. It allowed them to do something they enjoy for someone else. I hope it taught them the value of 'alternative gifts'.
'Gifts' that came from that class include: One woman said she left some money in a box on the door step of a neighbor who was going through hard times. One guy said he fixed the tire of a friend whose car had been out of commission in his driveway. One student copied class notes for a student in another class who had been absent and left them on her desk.

No comments: