It was summer of last year (2017) when I got fascinated with positive psychology and decided to initiate first lesson of gratitude with my six year old son. One night, after singing the prayers and hymns, I asked my son to thank God for five unique things he had. He started with his mommy, followed by rest of the family and toys and then he was blank. By a lot of well-to-do kids of this generation, things like food, education, shelter and the like are taken for granted. So was the case with my son. I went ahead and told him that millions of kids in the world do not enjoy these basic necessities and he was fortunate to have all of these and therefore he should thank God for these. He asked innocently, “but mumma, why should I thank God for this?”. I was taken a back that my son who was so empathetic couldn’t understand why gratitude in this case was an obvious choice to make. He then said something that made me ponder on my definition of good, “mumma, I will thank God for all this the day He gives these things to all the kids and not just me. Can we not do something so that all the kids enjoy having these things?” These words changed my perception forever.
I started looking for ways to give to society and it was then that I bumped into Jacqueline’s 365gives. It was a euphoria moment for me and i told my son about it.
He was totally in awe with the whole idea of giving.
365gives – give one thing once a day for a year. Sounds difficult? No it isn’t. We made our list of gives and put it on the wall of his room. He started with his own small gives like watering the plants, cleaning the society, giving a pencil to a poor kid going to school and would be on cloud nine while sharing his stories with me.
The outcomes and benefits of this initiative seem to be helping the world only but truth is that it doesnt only create a better society but also a better and happier self It made my son feel valued which in turn increased his motivation. It made him more aware of the world around him. It made him value the things he had as he had become observant of the surroundings and misery that is contained in the whole world. And above all, it made him happier. It strengthened our relationship as he became a lot more empathetic and grateful for everything his mumma does. It made US happier.
Just do it for a week and it will become a habit. This is an addiction that makes people happier and kinder. This is a booster that increases your serotonin and dopamine levels without any drugs or medications.
Do it to feel it and you will be in awe just like me and my son….