Thankfulness is transformative
7 June 2019
Thankfulness is transformative. It is far greater than good manners. More important than politeness. It is an attitude, not an act. A mindset, not a word. A life perspective. A frame.
The act of being thankful is a lens that allows us to view the world with optimism and positivity. “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” William Arthur Ward
One December a few years ago, I asked (possibly demanded) my family to find a unique thing to be thankful for each day leading up to Christmas. I asked them to document the things they were thankful for so that on Christmas Day we could share our lists. They were less than excited but reluctantly agreed to engage in the activity. A few days into December an interesting thing happened. They couldn’t keep their thankfulness to themselves. Each member of the family began to enthusiastically share on a daily basis the ways they felt blessed.
The decision to look for things to be thankful for creates positivity, and a positive outlook brings physical and psychological benefits. In a culture where our children have everything they need and so much more, it can be challenging for them to appreciate their blessings. As parents and teachers we can do so much to model and encourage the development of a thankful spirit in our children.
Share the things you’re thankful for. Don’t forget to tell your children how grateful you are for them. Be specific and vulnerable. Perhaps you could introduce a family tradition of sharing what you are thankful for at meal times, while you’re in the car together or on special family occasions. Being thankful is the antidote to entitlement.
Psalm 100:4 (The Message translation) refers to thanks as being the password to enter God’s presence. A thankful outlook places us in a mindset to connect with our God.
Why not take the thankfulness challenge and see what doors open for you.
“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.” Dr Robert Holden
Avondale School Princpal