Word of Wisdom: Blessed excuses…

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walt-pickut Contributing Editor
Contributing Editor

Here are some things you will never hear (I hope)…

  • “You seemed like a nice person and I wanted to like you, but I couldn’t find an excuse to say so.”
  • “That lady did me a big favor and I should have thanked her, but I couldn’t find a good excuse to say ‘Thanks!’”
  • “My kids actually did what they were supposed to, but I couldn’t think of an excuse to praise them for it.”

Silly? Of course it is! Except sometimes it is just the way we behave – until we can make up an excuse to do it. Then we do it up big. We spend billions of dollars and uncountable hours on our excuses, and those excuses have names we all know…

We call them Holidays, a shortened form of a more ancient and meaningful form of the word, Holy Days. That came from a time when it was considered “more blessed to give than to receive.”

I do love the Holiday Seasons, though, and I think just about everybody does. There are some holidays we all celebrate together, like New Year’s Eve and Groundhog Day. There are some other holidays that certain groups of us celebrate with each other, like Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and even National Flashlight Day (don’t miss it again this year, it’s December 21).

Then there are personal holidays, like birthdays, anniversaries, and maybe the day you finally got your braces off.

Whatever the holiday, we have at least two traditional ways of celebrating them: giving presents and eating way too much.

So my point is, we seem to need excuses to celebrate special days of our lives with each other. Every other day seems to be just another day. And we don’t celebrate “Just another Day” day.

Want to try something just weird enough that it might be fun? And as a bonus it might make somebody else feel really special. Here’s an idea:

Think of somebody you could thank for something or praise for something, or just enjoy being with. Then, for no special reason of any kind, with no excuse at all, celebrate them. Give them a gift, flowers, lunch at the corner deli, or a simple thank you card. Make it their special “Just another Day” day. No excuse needed.

Once they get over the shock and you decline their kind offer of a free morning with a psychiatrist, you’ll both find that celebrating can happen any day of the year for no reason at all.

This week, just to get our readers in practice for celebrating, your Jamestown Gazette and this week’s guest cover story contributor, Joni Blackman, is celebrating Celebrations of the Holiday Season. Make whichever one you celebrate just a warmup for the rest of the year’s “Just another Day” days, a day that you really can celebrate with no excuse at all.

“Celebrate” comes from an ancient Latin word that means “to honor or pay sincere attention to.” That’s why Joni says, “If each one of us does one thing to make someone else’s holiday better, it lifts the entire community.”

No excuse needed to keep it up all year long, once you get a little more practice.

Enjoy your holidays and enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.