Thoughts on Gratitude at Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many of my thoughts and reading this month have been centered around gratitude and how it can help our overall wellness, happiness, and sense of self and belonging. The following quote from “The Benefits of Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude,” (Psychology Today, Nov 18, 2014) stuck with me. I plan on sharing it with our students, and I wanted to share it with you.

Gratitude changes perspective—it can sweep away most of the petty, day-to-day annoyances on which we focus so much of our attention—the “small stuff” situations that bring up feelings of impatience, intolerance, negative judgment, indignation, anger, or resentment. Gratitude is a vehicle to diffuse self-pity and self-centeredness, increase feelings of well-being, and prompt mindful awareness of that which is beyond oneself—of belonging to a greater whole, and of connection to others, as well as to the world.”

As an educator (and now as a soon to be parent), my mind is also on how we foster an attitude of gratitude in our children and students. Chapter 5, “The Blessing of Longing: Teaching Your Child an Attitude of Gratitude,” in the book The Blessings of a Skinned Knee, by Wendy Mogel, contained a great deal of wisdom, grounded in Judaism. As we read this novel together as a community for Bud’s Book Club, I found this particular chapter relevant to the season.

And finally, I feel grateful to be part of a school and profession that makes such a difference in our world. Thank you for being part of the Rashi Community.

I wish you and your families a meaningful Thanksgiving and a wonderful break.

Jen Blum
Head of Upper School

Learn more about Rashi’s Upper School.

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