November 23

Today's quotation:

How wonderful it would be if we could help our children
and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age.
Thanksgiving opens the doors.  It changes a child's
personality.  A child is resentful, negative--or thankful.
Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness,
they draw people.

John Marks Templeton

Today's Meditation:

So what do we teach our children?  If we're not teaching them something like thanksgiving, then what kinds of tools are we giving them for leading happy and fulfilling lives?  What kinds of benefits could we be providing them if we do teach them something valuable like gratitude, giving them a tool that they can carry with them to convert almost any situation into a positive experience, through the application of simply an attitude?

I increasingly see how young children are being taught to expect more and more things, bought and paid for by their parents.  These expectations then become the ruling force in their lives, and when they're not met, the children feel anger and frustration and disappointment.  When they are met, the children don't tend to feel a lot of gratitude because they expected whatever they got all along.  Parents who think that they're doing their kids favors by providing them with everything they want unfortunately are sabotaging their kids' futures by closing the doors that gratitude could open.

We also teach children by modeling behaviors and attitudes.  When kids see us being truly grateful, they see the positive effects of gratitude.  When they see us taking things for granted, guess what?  When they see us focused on getting rather than giving, guess what?

We can provide our children with a great tool for the future if we only teach them the value of being thankful.  It's not that hard a thing to do, and the benefits for our children--and the people who end up being in their lives--are immeasurable.

Questions to consider:

How might you go about teaching young people the value of thanksgiving?

How can something like thanksgiving "open doors"?

What do you see as the major differences between a child who's thankful and one who is not?

For further thought:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we
have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into
a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie


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