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I remember when we were young. Xmas was a time for whanau and friends to get together, share kai, share korero and reflect over the past year. Oh and then there were the presents!

But they weren’t the focus, and I’m really grateful that in my childhood and over the years I have learnt to value people.

I understand the importance of xmas for some people but I choose not to indulge in the extravagant spending that goes on at xmas. I see so many whanau feel obligated to buy gifts at xmas and then they suffer in the new year when they have to find the money again that they didn’t have to buy presents in the first place! Its like that!

If xmas is about giving gifts, then why not give the gift of aroha, the gift of love, the gift of manaakitanga – looking after and feeding another person. These are gifts that don’t cost a thing, that can be given and received freely and I guarantee that if given to a child all the years of their life, at every xmas, they will know about the importance of valuing and loving people and more importantly, they will grow up confident and will know who they are.


This article arrived in my inbox this morning from Tom Murasso

What a great way to start the day! Arohanui x

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a
trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son
how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what
would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son,
“How was the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah,” said the son.

So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the

The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they
had four.

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and
they have a creek that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the
stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and
they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have
fields that go beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We
buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us; they have
friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor
we are.” (author unknown)

Too many times, we forget what we have and concentrate on
what we don’t have. What is one person’s worthless
object is another person’s prize possession. And what is a
prized possession may pale in comparison to true wealth. It
is all based on one’s perspective.

Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks
for all the bounty we have instead of worrying about
wanting more. Take joy and appreciate every single thing
you have, especially your friends!

Abundance is there if we only notice it in
our lives. Then slowly, we change our mindset from lack and
limitation to unlimited.

Flickr Photos


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