Thanksgiving is tomorrow, which makes me thing of what I am grateful for. I am thinking of the people who have been generous to me over this last year and how I can show gratitude to them. Did you know that there is a relationship between generosity and gratitude; that they are symbiotic, doing one leads to feeling the other? Small acts of kindness lead us to feel gratitude, and gratitude helps us feel generous. So not only does generosity feel good, it makes us feel gratitude in our own lives. In an article I read recently, I learned that “feelings of gratitude nurture our individual mental health and fortify our bonds with other people. The personal and interpersonal benefits of gratitude occur at both a psychological and neurobiological level.” Wow, that sounds good to me. Do you relate to the connection of gratitude and generosity? I do. I know when someone is generous to me I feel gratitude and my mood lifts. Recently a friend wrote me a letter sharing her love and concern for me while my mom was going through a hard health experience. This small act of kindness made me feel deep gratitude. But it also works the other way, when I do a small act of generosity for someone or volunteer or give to a non-profit I support, I feel gratitude for my ability to give and also for the support I have in my life. How do generosity and gratitude feel to you? Here are some writing ideas around generosity and gratitude. These are thought questions, meant to stir memories. When you find the memory, write it in a story.
- Describe how you have given your time to help someone, a neighbor, friend, family member or stranger. How did it feel to give your time?
- Describe how you have used kind words to help someone, a neighbor, friend, family member or stanger. How did it feel to say those words?
- Someone once did __________ for me, and I felt __________
- Someone once said these kind words to me __________ , and I felt __________
- Have you experienced or witnessed great generosity in another person? Write about the experience.