by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning

Why is gratitude so hard to teach? As children, we are taught gratitude as a social habit. We are encouraged to continue in the hope that it becomes more than just something we should do.

At some point, we hope that ourselves and our children recognize that gratitude is an act of reciprocity and yet it is not always returned to us at the time of the exchange.

Gratitude gives us something more than we can give ourselves. It gives us a connection to another in a way that bonds us through our principle of the interconnected web of life. When we give, we receive something back. It may not be what we hoped or expected.

With your family this month, try a “Random Act of Kindness”, such as picking up garbage or paying for someone’s coffee ahead of the line so that they don’t have to. Engage your children in this process to show them how much goodness is brought to the world through small acts, and watch as gratitude multiples.