My 4th grade teacher always said we should have an “Attitude for Gratitude.” Every month, she sent out a class newsletter to the parents with updates about what was happening in the classroom and what not. For the month of November, everyone had to write down one thing they were thankful for. I wrote I was thankful for my best friend, Katie. Another student wrote he was thankful for entertainment. Why do I remember such trivial facts? Because we both got told our answers weren’t “correct” in front of the entire class.
Clearly, that was a traumatizing event as I still remember it. (Plot twist, I remember everything. I have the memory of an elephant.) But I’d like to think that since my 4th grade lesson on gratitude, I’ve learned a little more about what the word means and what it means to live it daily and express it.
To me, gratitude works hand in hand with being grateful and recognizing your blessings. Blessings happen everyday. They don’t have to be big or out of this world. It can be getting an extra five minutes of sleep, receiving good news, earning good marks in a class, or simply running into a friend that you haven’t seen in quite some time.
The month of November is often associated with being thankful. I call it the “Thanksgiving Spell”. I mean I get it. Leaves are changing into beautiful reds, ambers and golds. The summer heat is melting away which means boots, cardigans, and scarves. Towards the end of the month you get to nom on mounds of carbohydrate based foods. Whats’s not to be thankful about? But blessings and things to be thankful for don’t just happen in November right? Shouldn’t we be thankful all year round? But then that begs the question-do people even know how to be thankful anymore? Do they know how to recognize a blessing without asking for it first?
I don’t know the answer to those questions. But I do know that everyday it’s important to be thankful, express gratitude, and recognize the blessings no matter how big or small. That is something I am trying to do everyday. It’s a challenge because life throws curveballs but it’s a challenge I think in the end, is worth it.