I hope you had an enlightening day of thanks and the opportunity to give thanks whether in person or in spirit. Expressing such gestures can come easy and sincere for some, while others have to awkwardly dig deep to say or show even the slightest act of affection. It comes down to practice, experience, and really, messages learned in early childhood. If saying “thank you” is rarely said in the household, it is a far likelihood that a child would consider uttering the two words in his own repertoire of vocabulary. Children watch and take on what is normal and baseline in their worlds. Today’s brazen attitude of entitlement and immediate gratification challenges the notion of what being grateful is about. How can we help our children build the spirit of gratitude naturally? One of the most effective and most powerful ways to teach gratitude is to role model exactly what we want to see in our children and in those we want to influence. What we do and say have profound effects on how children behave and how their own values system is developed. When thanking someone, do so immediately (when possible) and be specific “thank you, Griffin, for making your bed without me reminding you.” Give at least seven compliments a day to others - spreading your sunshine has a return ten-fold in a karmic kind of way. Give freely and not expect anything in return. Volunteering is an excellent way to connect in ways bigger than who you are. Say a prayer of thanks each night before going to bed. Learn about other communities and cultures - meeting people expands perspectives and makes room for more gratitude and appreciation to flow. Each one of us has the daily opportunity to express gratefulness. Each ounce of it on a consistent path adds up to a whole lot of thank you’s and blessings.
Where my mind wanders, rests, and flows