We live surrounded by abundance. The migrants waiting in Tijuana with backpacks that, we assume, hold all their worldly belongings, do not. But this is not a political statement about immigration or politics—far from it. It simply sets the stage for a reflection on abundance.

Thanksgiving dinnerSt. Luke warns… “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Indeed, having too much can get in the way of seeing and enjoying what matters most in life.

It’s often said that to avoid greed or selfishness is not a complicated task. We merely give rather than take. We come to see ourselves not based on what we own, but on how often we share—whether that sharing be money or compliments. To live abundantly is to be a blessing in others’ lives.

When we focus on becoming a blessing to someone else, we find ourselves being kinder and more forgiving, quicker to understand than preach, encouraging and less critical, more courageous than timid, less proud and more humorous, and in the end—grateful. Grateful for our abundance, yes, but especially grateful for those Thanksgiving dinner leftovers!