Seems to me, in observation and in effort, that the sentence “I am thankful for…” is an easy one to finish. From our Kindergarteners to our 5th graders, our children can find something quickly to close that writing prompt. More often than not, we learn of their gratefulness for video games, trendy clothes recently purchased, and other things that they have.
We don’t often challenge those answers to be less tangibly based, and more about experiences, more emotionally or sensationally rooted. Perhaps it is because we do not often enough challenge ourselves to pause and be grateful for each new morning. Do we breathe in our aromatic coffee and breathe out positive mantras and gratefulness for the opportunity to accomplish something great today? Do we notice that November provides the most electric orange sunrises? Do we not just acknowledge how wonderful our family time together is, but do we go on to articulate it?
As we work with our scholars on understanding GRATITUDE (what it means, how it feels, and how to demonstrate it), I challenge each and every one of us to remind ourselves to be grateful; to feel it deeply and identify where those feelings are born; and to lead by example in spreading our gratefulness through conversation.
Instead of announcing “dinner is ready” with the expectation being: to eat, invite one another to come together and appreciate each others presence. Verbalize what it is you are grateful for. Gratitude is a feeling, but it is one we must learn to find, to feel, and to then pass it forward.
I’ll start. I am grateful for you all. You continue to offer me invaluable opportunities to expand my perspective and my worldview. I am thankful for the devout trust you have placed in me, and the privilege of working with your children. It is an awesome responsibility. Thank You.
The following video reinforces the importance of not just thinking it, but exploring it, saying it, sharing it. I will warn! There is some language in this video, and I only share it as the overall message seemed too important to be shadowed by it.