Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gratitude Hand-Me-Downs by Angie Ledbetter

Thinking about gratefulness for the better part of a year now, I wonder how I can best share the benefits I've received with others; pay it forward; instill it in my own children?

Reading an article called Thanksgiving All Year Long recently, there were a few tips for teaching gratitude by the author Jeff Smith. (Seek and ye shall find?) I'm paraphrasing and adding to his ideas here:

  • At home and about, an attitude of gratitude can be infectious to others. Sometimes people just need to be introduced to a new way of thinking, so role modeling our happiness can help spread the joy.

  • Thankfulness for things small and grand doesn't just have to exist around the Thanksgiving table. Simple things are available to us every day -- a beautiful sunset, rain to replenish the earth, people who go out of their way to be optimists and good servers rather than doom-spreaders. We should notice them and voice our thanks whenever possible.

  • I'm always grateful when my teenagers do their chores or share a kindness with dear ol' Mom. But do I remember to thank them? Not always, but I will work on that. Who doesn't like to be shown gratitude for a job well done? If you've ever worked for a boss who doesn't care to encourage and appreciate his/her employees, you know what a bleak work existence that is; so let's be sure we don't undervalue our family members and close friends. Even if our words of gratitude seem to be falling on deaf ears, they are heard by hearts and minds on some level. Our efforts in that regard are never wasted.

  • Remind people of the gifts and talents they have, especially when they share them with others, such as good humor, consideration, compassion, encouragement, unselfishness and generosity.

  • Praying for others, helping where we can, volunteering in our communities for worthy causes and goals, and taking the time to care about how someone else is feeling or doing are ways to spread the love and power of gratitude.

When we fertilize the gratitude seed in any way we can think of, it's awesome to watch it bloom and flower. And for that, I am truly grateful.


Kathryn Magendie said...

All good thoughts, Angie! :-)

Barbara Quinn said...

That attitude of gratitude is's to infecting as many as we can.

Anonymous said...

We are finding that they hear everything we say. Whether they want to admit it or not. Your crew does a great job of thanking whenever we do anything. They turn out pretty good in spite of all our training.

Angie Ledbetter said...

'Morning, ladies. Let's spread the wealth today! :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Thanks, Oren. Glad to hear the kiddies are decent humans around others! Your two are also.

Patresa Hartman said...

a wise and worthy list, ms. angie! gratitude rocks. :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Yes ma'am, Patresa. I know you're out there blowing the gratitude dandelion!

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