This is my final guest post of the year, written by my good friend Kayla Albert. As my American friends head into Thanksgiving, I knew I wanted to share some thoughts on the topic of gratitude – and Kayla would be the best person to do it. When you’re done reading, I’d love to hear one thing you’re grateful for this year. :)
“It’s time to pray,” she said, a full grin inching up the corners of her mouth, sticky fingers reaching out to grab the hands closest to her. From there, my 3-year-old niece would instruct each of us to close our eyes and listen.
I’m not entirely sure where or when she committed herself to the process of giving thanks, but considering her aversion to most foods and eating in general, it was the only reason she suddenly seemed to enjoy mealtime. We would allow her to take center stage with her list of thanks at the beginning of the meal, and she would eat her broccoli a little less begrudgingly than before.
It was never about religious tradition. She simply learned to say “thank you” and was gently prodded towards recognizing the things in life that made her happy, and she created a gratitude practice of her own.