If you’ve been following our blog for any length of time, you may already realize that we’re big on expressing gratitude around here. But that doesn’t mean that we have to shout it from the rooftops to make it matter. Grateful living can come quietly as well, and we introverts are indeed grateful for that.
As we prepare to swing into another raucous year of noisy news (can you say “Donald Trump”?) we thought this would be a good time to pause, and share several 2015 expressions of soft-spoken gratitude and simple ideas for life-long well-being.
On listening more and speaking less
You might assume that professional author and speaker Gretchen Rubin would find self-pity to be the best antidote when she temporarily lost her voice to laryngitis this fall. Instead, she turned the experience into a fascinating blog post, so we could appreciate what she learned from the experience: I Can Barely Say a Word. It’s an Interesting Situation.” Thanks, Gretchen!
On giving others the benefit of the doubt
While it’s important to do what we can to fight injustice, it’s also important to be careful in our judgments, especially in social media forums where small matters can inflame so quickly. The next time you’re planning to participate in any viral vitriol, consider this post from a gal whose Tweet about lipstick ran amuck, a victim of the media’s “manufactured outrage,” she suggests. You may or may not agree with her – and by the way, if you are not a fan of “raw” language, you may not want to read this one at all. But we found it a thought-provoking take on why giving your fellow humans the benefit of the doubt remains in vogue, regardless of the forum involved.
On unexpected kindnesses
While most of us knew Leonard Nimoy as Star Trek’s original “Spock” and were saddened by his passing earlier this year, far fewer of us knew the unpretentious man behind the public figure. Did you know, for example, the story behind how he came up with the show’s “live long and prosper” Vulcan greeting? Growing up in an orthodox Jewish household, Nimoy knew the hand sign, which represented the Hebrew letter Shin, as part of a benediction that Jewish high priests would bestow on their congregations. “It’s great,” he chuckles, reflecting on how popular the greeting had become as a result of the show. “People don’t realize they’re blessing each other with this.” To hear him tell the tale and appreciate the man behind the Vulcan greeting, check out this excerpt from the Wexler Oral History Project at the Yiddish Book Center.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, it’s hard to argue with Pope Francis’ List of 10 Tips for Becoming a Happier Person. Number one: “Move forward and let others do the same,” which is another way of saying, “Live and let live.”
Amen to that. Here’s wishing you and yours a healthy and happy new year. Fill it with an abundance of gratitude – granted and received – and the rest may well take care of itself.
Sage Serendipity: If you need a small but powerful last minute holiday gift, the late Dr. Oliver Sacks book Gratitude may fill the bill. It is a collection of four essays he wrote in the New York Times when he found out he was dying of cancer.
“My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”