Thanks, Giving

by Tom Swift

The word of the weekend is Gratitude.

I realize Thanksgiving is not quite yet upon us. Call this a primer.

Anyway, this is not about one day. It’s about 365.

We all know that grateful people are happier people, don’t we? We have all experienced this for ourselves, too, seen what it does for us to be thankful — have we not? Seen how when we seek the good in things outside we feel more good inside? The science is clear here. Google Scholar if you must.

So why do we not choose to make a gratitude practice part of our every day? Why would we not stop for even a single moment each day and make a point to be thankful for someone or something?

The point of emphasis here is meant to be placed more on the obviousness of the benefit and less on the shame of not having made use of it.

Like many healthful behaviors, we have a lot of forces — environment, stress, biology, upbringing, yada, yada — going against us. Why we choose the chocolate cake over the carrots, that whole thing.

I am also not in a position to lecture anyone. I keep a Gratitude Journal here. Yet I frequently miss days. As you can see, I recently missed a full week. In fact, truth be told, sometimes, when I have been lax, I will do several days of journaling at once. That is, I will catch up by recalling and recording the past number of days in a single sitting. Some is better than nothing. Late is better than never. Perfection is the enemy of the good. Pick your favorite bumper sticker.

Yet I would like to do better. So I can be better.

I aim to record at least one thing every day — and record that thing on the very day — from now until one of my favorite days of the year, the Winter Solstice. If you want to check, you will, of course, be able to see if I have failed to follow through on this aim.

Public accountability: One more thing I am grateful for today.