Somewhere in the middle of my cancer experience, I became an evangelist for the power of gratitude.
About halfway through 12 cycles of chemotherapy, I had read every book in my stack and went looking through the pile on the lovely Sarah’s nightstand. There, I found Ann Voskamp’s one thousand gifts, a book about identifying gifts from God and expressing gratitude for them by keeping a gratitude journal. Three gifts a day or just over 1,000 gifts a day.
Most pointedly, Voskamp writes about the value of expressing gratitude during difficult times — death of a loved one, diagnosis of a disease, etc.
The world seems to need a little something right now. In the face of political campaigns fueled by fear of change and people who don’t look like us, the seeming ever-present possibility of terrorist attacks, and, here at home, gang shootings that claim young innocents, we need something. More love, more appreciation of each other, something.
It seems logical that gratitude brings us closer to the people we care about and gratitude brings us closer to God, right? I’ve learned in the last few years that gratitude makes people healthier and happier. As much as 25 percent happier, and the most profound impact is on men.
All for doing something as simple as writing down three gifts a day.
I believe in my heart that expressions of gratitude have the power to change the world. That’s why I’m launching a social media campaign called GratitudeKnox on Sunday, May 1. I would love for you to like the GratitudeKnox Facebook page and to follow me on Instagram @gratitudeknox.
Through GratitudeKnox I will share the gratitude stories of people I meet every day. Some of them are prominent Knoxvillians, some are business people and some are “just folks” who are part of my life — the guy in line behind me at the grocery store, the woman who takes my order at the coffee shop, etc.
Everyone has a gratitude story, including you. So feel free to share yours by dropping me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s change the world together by making it a more grateful place.