Give Thanks and Play With All Your Heart of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen was a white-muzzled old dog playing with three children. The kids were hooping and hollering as they tore across the yard on some imagined mission. Pirates? Ninjas? Aliens? It didn’t matter. That dog was right there with them, running as fast as it could on its three legs.

Three legs?!?

Yes, and I’ve never seen a happier pooch.

Twenty years ago, I don’t think I would have understood why that dog was so freakin’ happy. I’ve learned a bit about “the self” since then. The dog wasn’t hampered by perceptions of how many legs, or cell phones, or thingamabobs it was supposed to have. That old dog only knew that it was on the same mission as those children.

The dog was included in the play. It was vital, loved, and happy.

As the year ends and we think about giving thanks and giving gifts, please consider the lessons of the three legged dog.

1) Include people. Invite an old, or young, or middle-aged friend or family member to join you. Being included revitalizes us when our spirits may otherwise be flagging.

2) Play with all your heart. Put down the phones, turn off the screens, and set aside the gadgets. Play with all your hearts. Be present for the people you’ve included. When you do, you’ll feel the magic.

I’m so very grateful to each and every person who has included me in their groups, their play, and their lives.

My thanks to you.