Whenever we talk about truly changing the world, it is imperative that we focus our attention on the youngest generation – those whose lives stretch out long before them, and who hold the vast possibilities for our world in their hands. Young people can benefit significantly from learning about grateful living, as they are subject to increasing amounts of stress, as well as cultural pressures and influences which can have them feel like they are always “lacking.” And as they are often highly attuned to their inner and outer experiences, they also have a great deal to teach about gratefulness.
Grateful Living practices for youth can be shared in families and in educational settings, in after-school programs and in peer groups. There are riches in gratefulness to be mined and offered for young people, and the effects of this practice will be far reaching. It is important that the focus on teaching grateful living to youth be deeply informed and shaped by young people themselves, and that the approaches are tailored.
(Brain Pickings, March 2015) Maria Popova reviews “Sidewalk Flowers” which tells the wordless story of a little girl on her way home with her device-distracted father, a contemporary Little Red Riding Hood walking through the urban forest. Along the way, she collects wildflowers and leaves them as silent gifts for her fellow participants in this pulsating mystery we call life…
Gratitude, it seems, is a key—perhaps the key—to feeling more satisfied with your life. It improves your relationships with loved ones. It’s even good for your heart. Learn more about these and many other cutting-edge findings in The Science of Gratitude. The program combines scientific research with personal stories illustrating the benefits and obstacles to feeling truly grateful.
Research and life itself show us that the more things we have, the harder it can be to be grateful. The holidays can present a challenge as we seek to to be generous with our children AND not overwhelm their ability to feel gratitude. Here are gift ideas which offer experience, connection and engagement.
(Quartz, January 2014) “My parents simply didn’t have material things to give me so I learned to be thankful for the little we had. So by giving my kids what I never had—toys, snow boots, fashionable jeans—would they be destined to become ungrateful?” Jenn Choi explores this question and comes to some interesting conclusions.
(November, 2014) The remarkable mind that brought you QI, Blackadder and Spitting Image asks one of the world’s simplest but most significant questions – what do we really need to know? What should we teach our children, and what important information should all adults have at their disposal? Legendary producer John Lloyd turns his curiosity to knowledge itself, and questions whether intelligence is really all it’s cracked up to be.
(November 2015) Life can be tough. Kid President reminds us that it’s important to always take time to remember the things that make life awesome. This is just the start of a list. It’s only 25 things. Naturally, there are more!
(January 2015) Filmmakers, Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman, made “Just Breathe” with their son, his classmates and their family members one Saturday afternoon. The film is entirely unscripted – what the kids say is based purely on their own neuro-scientific understanding of difficult emotions, and how they cope through breathing and meditation. They, in turn, are teaching us all …
(Yes! Magazine, August 2015) A new study shows that meditation can transform racial bias at any age.
(May, 2015) In his Naropa University graduation address, Parker Palmer offered the advice of Socrates, and urged Naropa graduates to lead “an examined life.” Parker is the founder of the Courage & Renewal Center in Seattle, WA, as well as an accomplished author and scholar.
(July, 2015) After a successful career in the corporate world, Shane left it behind to pursue a more meaningful life with his family. Trained in the best leadership workshops, hear what this unusual school bus driver has to say about the children he drives to school.
(Human Postcards, June 2015) Iñaki is an 8-year old boy from New Zealand. Here is his one minute response to the question “What’s the most beautiful thing that happened in your life?”
The mission of Cricket is to inspire children to a lifelong love of reading and learning. In addition to fourteen children’s magazines, Cricket offers a unique assortment of enlightening and entertaining products with an emphasis on educational benefits. The variety of books, crafts, toys, and gifts not widely available, all bring a sense of fun to the learning process.
(2010) In this TED Talk, young Malawian William Kamkwamba describes how he built a windmill to power his family’s home aged 14, during a time of poverty and famine. The windmill produced electricity and was built from spare parts and scrap.
The first Kid President video was created in July of 2012 out of the simple belief that kids have voices worth listening to. “We’re doing this because we believe kids can change the world. We also believe grown ups can change the world. It just takes all of us working together.” This website is filled with fun, wise and inspiring videos created by 10-year old Robby (Kid President) and his family.
(2014) A Random Acts of Kindness Challenge winner is a first grade class in Fresno, California inspiring their entire school with kindness!
(2012) Music video about Gandhiji’s Life with Gandhi Rap Gandhi Giri sung by MC Yogi
We are grateful for the following books which have delighted, informed and enchanted us with their bold and loving invitations to children (of all ages) to live a wholehearted and grateful life.
* Vacuums are nothings. We only mention them to let them know we know they are there….
Camp director Richard Bernstein put out an empty mayonnaise jar with paper and pencils beside it and a suggestion to write thank you notes. He never dreamed how full that jar would get and how it transformed the camp.
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© 2015 Gratefulness.org, A Network for Grateful Living