When we take the time to look at our lives with a sense of gratitude, it opens our hearts and minds to see all the good surrounding us. Cultivating gratitude is one of the simplest and most effective ways to shift your focus from negative thoughts and emotions to positive and supportive ones. Gratitude can create not only a more joyful life for yourself but also for the people around you.
As we enter the holiday season, we must take a step back and reflect on the things we cherish and are grateful for. For many of us, family is at the top of that list. But there are also countless other things to be thankful for — from our health to our friendships to simply being alive. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate all the good in our lives this holiday season. Gratitude must be a central value of our work as educators and not just something we remember once a year. This year, let us center our practices around empathy and gratitude.
Together let us find the courage to engage in a dialog about inclusion, equity, and care. Let us lead by example and actively prevent hurtful and exclusionary practices. Let us dismantle the discourse that positions privilege, power, and commercialism at the center of our practices. Let us learn to be grateful for our freedom and talk about how crucial it is to fight for the freedom of others. Let us speak about First Nation communities in the present and recognize their contribution and influence. Let us speak about Native American (the original Americans) and Alaska Native communities in the present. They are still here. Let’s take the time to reflect on our actions and make changes that will make us more inclusive and equitable. Begin by defining empathetically who are the children and adults in your ecosystem and ask:
As educators, let’s make gratitude a central value of our work — something we practice daily instead of just once a year. We can create a more caring and equitable world for everyone by focusing on empathy, equity and inclusion.
Focusing on the gifts from the earth and helping young children learn gratitude is sure to have positive effects that last a lifetime!