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Gratitude: The Most Exquisite Form of Courtesy - Jean-Marc Fray Antiques
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“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” -Friedrich Neitzsche
How does one begin to cultivate habits of gratitude and charity into each new day? A charitable act isn’t merely the giving of a tangible item, though in many cases there is great need for such. It can start with a spirit of gratitude underlying our thoughts and communications. The manner in which we listen, how patient we are when a situation becomes frustrating, offering a smile when we’d rather not, or simply abstaining from passing judgment are little ways we can show appreciation for others in our daily interactions.
In the gallery we interact with people from everywhere! We encourage and invite them into each space to experience the treasures we have to offer. We listen, we care, and we try to relate. But how do we impact others outside of the gallery? Well, that’s where you come in– when you patronize us, you are not only receiving a lasting object of beauty, you are helping us to give back!

 “Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.” -Jacques Maritain

When in high school, a member of the Fray family volunteered preparing sandwiches for local food trucks to deliver to the hungry. Today that non-profit, known as “Mobile Loaves & Fishes,” sends over half a dozen food trucks around Austin offering lunch and dinner meals to the homeless. Since that time Jean-Marc Fray Antiques continues to be a sustaining donor to this remarkable organization.
 
Their project has expanded to include an entire village based on the idea of restoring stability to people who have endured chronic homelessness, joblessness, or mental illness while respecting the dignity of the participants. Community First! Village is a 27-acre planned community that offers an opportunity for affordable, permanent housing based on the tiny home concept. These micro-homes offer a creative opportunity for design, many contributed by award-winning local architects through the Tiny Victories design competition.
The facility, speckled with airstreams and RV’s amidst attractive tiny concept homes, was evidently in the planning stages for over a decade. Currently it has the capacity to house over 200 residents! Described as a “transformative residential program” in Central Texas, the Village has also developed a community garden, nature trails, an outdoor cinema, and a bed & breakfast.

To learn more about how this incredible non-profit is making an important impact on homelessness in Austin check out this video:

If it truly takes just a little time to impact another’s life in a positive way, how much better could we make the lives of those around us with one simple daily act. Perhaps seek out a charity that speaks to you and try volunteering there. When we give to others we also give something to ourselves. It may not seem palpable, however, the effect might be a bit more powerful and lasting than something you can hold in your hands.

Let us us pause and show gratitude for one precious part of our life. After all, according to Milton,

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”