“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is
like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
(William Arthur Ward, American writer, 1921-1994)
There is something called a ‘Gratitude Challenge’ going on around
the world. There is an organization called “Kindspring,” which
brought together 11,000 people from 118 countries. This site is
This is great since it includes a ‘start up kit’ which is designed to
help community organizations sponsor their own challenges.
Apparently, each location has their own philosophy and ways to
promote gratitude. Whenever this happens to find its way to my
own reading material, I like to spread the happiness around to
others like you.
Gratitude has helped unlikely businesses like banks. In Canada,
there have been four of the bank called TD, where they turned
their ATM’s into “Automatic Thank You” machines by providing
high value personalized gifts to the longest lasting customers.
This is to thank them for their loyalty to the bank. Any business
can be creative in showing appreciation in meaningful ways to
I liked this quotation from the ‘grateful kickstarts’ in November,
2014 “Natural Awakenings” magazine:
“As with any new skill or habit, gratitude needs to be exercised
until it becomes second nature. Simply writing a page a day in a
gratitude journal or saying a morning ‘thank you’ prayer can help
maintain the momentum.”
Showing appreciation to strangers always makes my heart feel
warmer. Those unexpected ‘gifts’ or smiles are so welcome in
this busy life. Our family members also deserve some of this
shared gratefulness for their special ways that make us feel
loved. Sometimes, (I am guilty of this) we are kinder to those
we don’t know than those who are close in our daily lives. We
often take them for granted.
I get motivated by other’s thoughts and words so hope you will
find something meaningful in one of these three participants’
in the “Gratitude Challenge:”
>Lisa Henderson Middlesworth shared,
“I have started a gratitude journal that I write in every day. When
you run out of the ‘obvious’ blessings, it makes you dig deep and
see all the small things. I commit to do my very best to never take
anything or anybody, good or bad, for granted.”
>Colleen Epple Pine shared,
“A town can be such a blessing. Neighbors always pull together when
there’s a tragedy or natural disaster. The boundaries diminish and
yards become one. . . we eat in each other’s kitchens, supervise each
other’s children, share a vehicle and generally watch out for each
other. I believe it is God’s way of reminding us that we’re one family
and each of us provides the strength and foundation for the other.”
>Joanie Weber Badyna shared,
“My losses have given me an inner compass by with I live my life.
While I would not wish the tragedies I have experienced on anyone,
I am eternally grateful for the blessings. I do not waste time, and I
know how to love without fear.”
I like how each shows their own way of handling this challenge.
No one is ‘right’ or ‘better’ but all are powerful parts of a movement
I feel this is personal and hard to open up to share my inner gratitude
and what changes I will make. I related to the first woman, Lisa.
I need to be better at finding the ‘good’ in every one I meet.
I would like to be more open to showing my appreciation to
those who may not always be nice.
I am sure it will improve their outlook, as well as my own.
This is due to recently my youngest daughter pointed out,
I tend to be overall positive, but sometimes will say things
like, “I wish that server would bring me another cup of
coffee” or “I would have liked more tissue paper in the gift
bag from that specialty shop.” In both cases, I did not say
anything or let the person serving me know my complaint
or wishes. I didn’t even notice this within my own character,
which is odd. I know this sounds ‘self-serving’ to ask for
these things, but really you are showing more gratitude to
the one helping you, which makes them feel ‘valuable’ my
Then, it all made sense. I think being grateful is also letting
others join in, making them feel part of this good feeling. By
being able to let others know when you are uncomfortable you
can potentially prevent having to rant later about not having
things turn out like you expected. Putting your expectations
out there prevents passive aggression. Also, being nice and
friendly is a part of the whole kismet or karma/kharma circle.
This is also known as ‘paying forward.’ I want to tie this whole
gratitude challenge in with the happiness project, which I have
already written a post about.
Do you feel this is difficult to tell your own personal gratitude
challenges? Are you willing to ‘put it all out there?’