Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gratitude: Thanksgiving in Action

Hi Cougars, I am so excited to be writing to you again.  I hope you have enjoyed the stories from our students and staff throughout the fall.  I am so happy to share since the beginning of school we have had over 15,000 people read our Celebrating Cinco blog. I am overwhelmed by the response and the feedback.  It has been a special treat to read the stories of struggle and success. The authors of these blogs have shown vulnerability and "dared greatly" for sure..  After all, it can be scary to publicly share your thoughts with the world...or even with our Cinco community. I am grateful for everyone who has written and everyone who has taken time to read these blog posts. I am also so grateful for this school and this community. Speaking of being grateful, this time of year seems like a good time to share some thoughts on gratitude. So here it goes. 

Ordinary happiness depends on happenstance.  Joy is that extraordinary happiness that is independent of what happens to us.  Good luck can make us happy, but it cannot give us lasting joy. The root of joy is gratefulness." 

"We tend to misunderstand the link between joy and gratefulness. We notice that joyful people are grateful and suppose that they are grateful for their joy. But the reverse is true: their joy springs from gratefulness. If one has all the good luck in the world, but takes it for granted, it will not give one joy. Yet even bad luck will give joy to those who manage to be grateful for it.
We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands. For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful."

"Gratefulness has two sides. Expressing gratitude is partly a conscious action, like opening
a door or telling a story. It is also a result of deep attitudes: the way we look at our lives and the way we turn the events of our lives into meaningful stories. Parents teach their children to say “thank you,” the action part, in the hope that their children will grow into the attitude part. For
adults, I believe, the path toward gratitude includes an exploration of both."

These thoughts (from people wiser than me) on gratitude and joy remind me that gratitude is practiced, and when gratitude is practiced, joy follows.  How do we go about practicing gratitude you may ask?  I wish I had a simple, magic answer.  I do not.  I can tell you it requires thought and action, and it requires a regular occurrence of both.  Anyone I've ever known who practices gratitude and expresses joy does so regardless of the circumstances of the moment. I have always been encouraged and uplifted by these people and strive to be like them.  

My hope is that reading this will remind you of things you probably already know but lose sight of in your day to day life.  I know I do.  So, as you head off into your thanksgiving break, take a moment, or two, or three to not only recognize the good things in your life, but take time to verbalize them...take time to put those words of gratitude into action.  I'm sure you will find joy not far behind waiting there like a dear, trusted friend.  I wish our Cougar students, staff, and families a very happy thanksgiving, no, scratch that, I wish you a very joyful thanksgiving and hope you enjoy this time with your friends and family.  Until next time, take care.

James Cross, Principal


1 comment:

  1. Gratitude indicates a receiver and a giver. Gratitude is extended by the receiver to the giver, and there is joy between them in that act. You have spoken to the receivers, but you have not spoken of the giver--the one receiving the gratitude. And in the end, politically correct or not, the ultimate Giver is God Himself. He should always be the recipient of our gratitude, and if He is, there will be joy.

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