Oxford Languages defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
I was sitting in my office last week when there was a gentle knock on my door. I turned to see three smiling faces staring through the window. I returned the smile as I opened the door. My fourth-grade friends immediately handed me a stack of thank-you notes for the physical education team. Touched by their gesture I returned their gratitude with a grateful thank you of my own.
It is rewarding to know that parents and teachers are still teaching their kids the relevance and the practice of gratitude. In a time when elementary, middle school, and high school students sometimes take their $700 phones and $100 sneakers for granted, teaching gratitude is essential. But like all good traits, it takes time to teach, learn, practice, and become a habit; it needs to be nurtured.
Gratitude nudges us and reminds us (just like the fourth graders did) that kindness is everywhere and it starts with us.
30 Days of Gratitude is a challenge for kids to tackle throughout November or any month. It can be fun for an entire family. Its goal is to help reinforce ways to show appreciation for people, places, and the things that make us happy.