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Motivation Mondays: The Greatest Gift

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“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift which is why we call it the present.” by Bil Keane

Motivation Mondays: The Greatest Gift - Love Your Life!

Motivation Mondays: The Greatest Gift – Love Your Life!

The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. Denis Waitley
I am the lover’s gift; I am the wedding wreath;I am the memory of a moment of happiness; I am the last gift of the living to the dead;I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow. Khalil Gibran
Here’s what I tell anybody and this is what I believe. The greatest gift we have is the gift of life. We understand that. That comes from our Creator. We’re given a body. Now you may not like it, but you can maximize that body the best it can be maximized. Mike Ditka
Love is so unconditional; love liberates; love is the reason why I do what I do, and so I think it is the greatest gift we have. BeBe Winans

What is the Greatest Gift? Sure, we are the beneficiaries of many gifts, however, if you were to ask ten or more people about their greatest gift, on any given day, you’d probably get as many answers as the folks quoted throughout this post. All answers have merit and each of us will bring our beliefs and life experiences to bear when we answer the question. However, the key point to the question is that regardless of what we think or believe is the greatest gift, there is no need to quibble over one simple fact, the gift of life opens the door to all the others. Without life, we don’t get a chance to experience love, friendship, family, health, courage, forgiveness, independence, inspiration and many other gifts that come with each breath we take on this planet. Life precedes all the other gifts and we can choose to express our gratitude for it or take it for granted. Today, the present is our gift of breath and we can give it great currency by making the best of each moment. With the gift of life comes the opportunity to create lasting memories with others; especially with our loved ones. Enjoy the story below….

A Father’s Special Gift
Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate.
The widowed elder man looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son’s trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world. As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country.
After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never see his son again. Within days, his fears were confirmed, the young man had died while carrying a fellow soldier to a medic. Contd below

“The greatest gift in life is to be remembered.” Ken Venturi

Motivation Mondays: The Greatest Gift - Love Your Life!

Motivation Mondays: The Greatest Gift – Love Your Life!

Inspiration is the greatest gift because it opens your life to many new possibilities. Each day becomes more meaningful, and your life is enhanced when your actions are guided by what inspires you. Bernie Siegel
One of the greatest gifts I’ve ever gotten is my daughter. Ace Frehley
Helping others isn’t a chore; it is one of the greatest gifts there is. Liya Kebede
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. Maya Angelou

What Motivates us to create Memories? Yesterday, I wrote about the special gifts of renewal we receive during Easter season and how it is a time of rebirth and an opportunity to start afresh again. Whether we celebrate Easter or not, we should note that this month wraps up the first quarter of the year; it’s a good time to take stock of our goals and dreams and see where we are on our journey. This is also a great time to look at our life and think about the memories we are creating and whether they are in line with our heart’s dreams and goals. We create memories through our interactions with others. Some memories are loving and others are harsh lessons but, all of our memories help us remember our connections with others and add to our treasure box of gifts that we bequeath to our loved ones when we leave this planet. So, what treasured memories are you creating with those you cherish today? Every day?

Distraught and lonely, the old man continued his life with anguish and sadness. The joy of art collecting, that he and his son had so enjoyed, would no longer be the same.
One winter morning a knock on the door awakened the depressed, old man. As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home. As he opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hands. He introduced himself to the man by saying, “I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you.”
As the two began to talk, the soldier told of how the man’s son had told everyone of his, not to mention his father’s, love of fine art. “I am an artist,” said the soldier, “and I want to give you this.” As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man’s son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man’s face in striking detail. Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture above the fireplace. A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars’ worth of art. His task completed, the old man sat in his chair and spent the rest of the day gazing at the gift he had been given.

“Love’s greatest gift is its ability to make everything it touches sacred.” Barbara de Angelis

Motivation Mondays: The Greatest Gift - Love Your Life!

Motivation Mondays: The Greatest Gift – Love Your Life!

The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it. Hubert H. Humphrey
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. Buddha
The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. Brian Tracy
Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us. Boris Pasternak

How do You Share Your Gratitude & Gifts? As is customary in my family, we exchange goodwill and blessings throughout the year and especially during special holidays; this Easter was no different. Since we all live around the globe, we use email and other ways to communicate with each other. One of my sisters shared a story with us yesterday and it got me thinking about this post. You have probably read the story whose author is unknown and when I went searching for it on the internet, it came up under several different titles.  I have shared the story throughout this post and I hope you will take a moment to read it and reflect on its deeper message. Did it resonate with you?  You  are free to interpret it any way you wish …  it is up to you. One thing that is clear in the story is the love a father has for his precious son. It reminds us of how much we must value the life we have, love beyond Valentine’s, and cherish the life of others around us. Our gift of life and love is never to be taken for granted.

During the days and weeks that followed, the man realized that even though his son was no longer with him, the boy’s life would live on because of those he had touched. Over time, he learned that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart.
As the stories of his son’s gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease his grief. The painting of his son soon became the most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world clamored. He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received.
The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation that with the collector’s passing, and his only son dead, those paintings would be sold at auction. According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned off on the anniversary of the day he had received the greatest gift, the picture of his son.


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for February and March 2016 are:

02/15 – PRESIDENTS DAY – third Monday of month –
02/22 – PAIN –
02/29 – LEAP YEAR

03/07 – 8 International Women’s Day –  3/1-31, Women’s History Month
03/14 – 13 Daylight Savings Begins at 2:00 a.m., 15, Ides of March, 17, St. Patrick’s Day, –
03/21 – 19 International Earth Hour –  20 International Day Of Happiness, Palm Sunday, Spring (Vernal) Equinox, –
03/28 – 23 Purim begins at sundown, 25 Good Friday, 27 Easter Sunday

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.

— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

More Below!

“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.”  Khalil Gibran

Motivation Mondays: The Greatest Gift - Love Your Life!

Motivation Mondays: The Greatest Gift – Love Your Life!

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself. Ralph Waldo Emerson
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. Jim Valvano
I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. Joyce Meyer
I think that the greatest gift God ever gave man is not the gift of sight but the gift of vision. Sight is a function of the eyes, but vision is a function of the heart. Myles Munroe

How do you Love Your Life? At the end of the day, we get to choose to stay motivated about living and loving our lives to the best of our ability. There are challenges that we all experience and there is no “perfect” life. As per the story I shared, it has been variously known as The Painting, Portrait of the Man’s Son, The Painting: “The Son,”  The Chapel and several other titles. Another key message from this story is that each life is a gift and an opportunity to create our vision of perfection through our effort and ability to get up when life throws us some curve balls. Appreciating our gift of life, sharing our gratitude for all who help make our life joyful,  and harnessing our ability to love life are ways we can show how much we value our gift to ourselves and others… Let’s make the best of it. Know that you are loved… as you are. Cherish your life.

The day soon arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world’s most spectacular paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would be achieved as many would claim, ‘I have the greatest collection.’
The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum’s list. It was the painting of the man’s son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid but the room was silent. “Who will open the bidding with $100?” he asked. Minutes passed, and no one spoke. From the back of the room came a voice, “Who cares about that painting? It’s just a picture of his son.” “Let’s forget about it and move on to the good stuff,’ more voices echoed in agreement.
‘No, we have to sell this one first,” replied the auctioneer. “Now, who will take the son?’ Finally, a neighbor of the old man spoke. ‘Will you take ten dollars for the painting? That’s all I have. I knew the boy, so I’d like to have it.” ‘I have ten dollars. Will anyone go higher?” called the auctioneer. After more silence, the auctioneer said, ‘Going once, going twice, gone.” The gavel fell.
Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, ‘Now we can get on with it and bid on the real treasures!” The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced that the auction was over. Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Someone spoke up and asked, ‘What do you mean, it’s over? We didn’t come here for a picture of some old guy’s son. What about all of these paintings? There are millions of dollars’ worth of art here! I demand that you explain what is going on!”
The auctioneer replied, “It’s very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son… gets it all.”
Kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? Just as those art collectors discovered on that day, the message is still the same: The love of the Father, whose greatest joy came from his Son, who went away and gave his life rescuing others. And because of that Father’s love . . . whoever takes the Son gets it all.”
Author Unknown  – This version from my sister and via


Source: Author Unknown  story via

Source: Any Zen Antics  stories via

Positive Motivation Tip: Life is the first and greatest gift; without it all the others will remain a moot point.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM

Related Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Stories via Zen Stories on  Quotes via BrainyQuotes, All Photos: Gifts, Love, Family, Health via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

82 Comments leave one →
  1. alison permalink
    29/03/2016 1:41 pm

    I am still astounded by the end of the story! I have never heard it before but I love it. I love the message! I love being reminded of what is truly important and why we are here. I really liked how you connect with your family on holidays even though they are far. That is what is the most important.

  2. Izabela permalink
    29/03/2016 2:42 pm

    What a lovely and inspirational post. I personally consider health to be my biggest gift. I’m grateful that my body is fine and I can wake up every day feeling full of energy to tackle problems.

  3. Kylee Cooks permalink
    29/03/2016 3:20 pm

    What an inspirational post (and I loved the story about the art collector and his son).

  4. Ben Butler permalink
    29/03/2016 3:37 pm

    I always enjoy reading your posts. They make me feel so good and get me geared up to have great days!

  5. Rosey permalink
    30/03/2016 3:51 am

    Love, time, attention…always the greatest gifts. My grandmother on my mother’s side didn’t have a fancy life, but she gave me these. My grandmother who was wealthier did not, she only gave me presents. I bet it’s easy to figure which grandmother’s memories I cherished most. My grandma who gave me her unconditional love, time and attention. She shaped my life in ways for which I could never say enough thank you’s.

  6. Travel Blogger permalink
    30/03/2016 4:30 am

    I like what you said about looking at our memories and seeing if they are in line with the goals in our heart. This is the perfect time of the year to take stock of our goals and how we want to approach the rest of the year.

  7. Eileen Mendoza Loya permalink
    30/03/2016 4:54 am

    Love this post, Elizabeth. I always give thanks to God before I lay down to sleep. I also say thanks first thing after I wake up in the morning. Life may have its challenges, but to be alive is truly a gift.

    • 30/03/2016 11:28 am

      Eileen, I do same and at different times of the day, a prayer of thanks will come up. I must admit that I wasn’t as conscious of it in my teens and early 20s but now I am more so. TY! <3

  8. 조이 Czjai (@RebelSweetHrt) permalink
    30/03/2016 5:03 am

    What a wonderful, wonderful story! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  9. Franc Ramon permalink
    30/03/2016 6:31 am

    I think the greatest gift you can give is arming them with the right values. With that in place, anything is possible.

  10. Nicole Haas Etolen permalink
    30/03/2016 6:48 am

    So inspirational post. Love the message of it. Thanks for sharing!

  11. parentingpatch permalink
    30/03/2016 6:53 am

    My greatest gifts are my two kiddos. I absolutely love the message of this story!

  12. royaltyinreality permalink
    30/03/2016 8:14 am

    My greatest gift at this precise moment is that I woke up this morning. Many people didn’t get a chance to see this morning and their loved ones never got to say goodbye. I am a firm believer in being grateful for each day as tomorrow is not promised.

    • 30/03/2016 11:33 am

      Dear One. I agree with you 100%… It all begins with that first breath we take… Everything else is secondary.

  13. Stephanie Pass permalink
    30/03/2016 8:51 am

    What a great story! I was very surprised by the ending, but I loved it.

  14. Chubskulit Rose permalink
    30/03/2016 9:46 am

    My kids and family are my special gifts. I am always grateful for their love and thank God for blessing me this much!

  15. Garf permalink
    30/03/2016 9:51 am

    Thank you for your inspirational post. I need to read something like this.

  16. Liz Mays permalink
    30/03/2016 11:14 am

    Life definitely precedes all other gifts. It’s the greatest blessing.

  17. Liz Mays permalink
    30/03/2016 11:14 am

    Also, I like how you bring such a positive spirit to Mondays!

  18. Jenn Peters permalink
    31/03/2016 7:38 pm

    Thank you for the reminder. I need to acknowledge that I love my life more often. And appreciate it for what it’s worth.

  19. hautebeautyguide permalink
    31/03/2016 7:55 pm

    Independence and responsibility really are amazing gifts. I see so many of my friends struggle with both and I am so grateful to my parents for instilling both traits in me. I hated it as a teenager but as an adult they are invaluable.

  20. Healing Tomato (@healingtomato) permalink
    31/03/2016 8:11 pm

    You make me not hate mondays.

  21. LifeAsAConvert permalink
    31/03/2016 9:32 pm

    I have a hard time picking greatest or favorites. I would have to say at this moment the greatest gift given to me was the atonement of my savior Jesus Christ.

  22. mythirtyspot permalink
    02/04/2016 4:18 pm

    Love this story with the art collector and his son. It resonated with me so much. Your inspirational posts make me feel so good. – Erin Kennedy

  23. den permalink
    05/04/2016 9:43 pm

    I needed this inspirational lift today. 🙂 Time and love for me is the the greatest gift.

  24. duffelbagspouse permalink
    20/04/2017 4:05 am

    That Bill Keane quote is one of my favorites. Its important to always live in real time.

  25. kumamonjeng permalink
    27/07/2018 11:34 pm

    The greatest gift is be able to live and able to have our family and friends around. We should embrace life in whatever situation. This is another inspirational article which should be reach out to more people.


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