Be Mindful, Be Grateful, Be Positive, Be True, Be Kind”
-Roy T. Bennett
As much as I enjoy the season of Christmas, I feel that at this time in our lives Thanksgiving needs to be our most revered and celebrated holiday. Not so much for the history and myth that are its underpinnings, but because of a hope that a day dedicated nationally and personally to an expression of gratitude for all the marvels that make up our lives is the surest way to bring some healing to the brokenness and division that we are experiencing.
And what is gratitude really? Robert Emmons, perhaps the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude suggests that gratitude has two key components. First, it’s an assertion that there is goodness in the world, experienced through the large and small gifts and benefits that we receive on an ongoing basis.
Secondly is the recognition of all the people and even higher powers that provide us with the nurturing that help us achieve goodness in our own lives.
In the past two decades, a growing body of evidence in the field of social science has found that gratitude has measurable benefits for just about every area of our lives. Gratitude appears to contribute substantially to individual well-being and physical health. So much so that the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley – a leader in research on the science of social and emotional well-being describes gratitude as “social glue”, key to building and nurturing strong relationships.
Here’s are some of the top reasons for practicing gratitude: Feel Happier, Strengthen Positive Recall, Deepen Resilience, Boost Immunity and Heart Health, Calm the Nervous System, Make Healthier Choices, Stronger Connections ……
When one has the chance to walk through our day program or one of the homes and observe the individuals we support interacting with one another or our dedicated staff, your heart can swell with such gratefulness at the decency and kindness you will experience. If you’ve never had the opportunity take a tour, or it’s been a while, please reach out to me so that we can get something on the calendar. Walking persons through our settings is one of my favorite activities.
Because gratitude encourages us not only to appreciate gifts but to repay them (or pay them forward), the sociologist Georg Simmel called it “the moral memory of mankind.” We are hoping that you will be moved to pay it forward by contributing what you can to this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign. This year’s date is Tuesday, November 28th. So after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, if you have any money left over, please send some of it our way! And you can certainly make a donation anytime between now and then.
In closing, “It is not happiness that makes us grateful.
It is gratefulness that makes us happy.”
May you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!!