Basking in the glow of twinkling lights, delicious food, friends and family, I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the meaning of gratitude.
That’s the theme at Gulf Stream School this academic year and it seems to me to be an excellent topic for study.
What is gratitude? According to online dictionaries, it is “the quality of being thankful; a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
“Kindness.” That’s the word I hope will guide our coastal communities in 2015.
If we can send “should” and “shouldn’t” down the garbage disposal with the potato peels, and throw out “always” and “never” with the gift wrapping, we’ll be well on our way to finding new — and less confrontational — ways to communicate with each other.
If we bring kindness to the forefront at our meetings and community gatherings, there may be less finger pointing and fewer lengthy diatribes. If gratitude guides our words and actions, there may be easier paths found to compromise and consensus.
If this all sounds a little like singing Kumbaya around a bonfire, I suppose it is. To me, “kindness” is an important and timeless word. One I hope fear, cynicism and today’s obsessive 24-hour news cycle can’t destroy or make unfashionable.
So, at each of our holiday gatherings this season, I’m suggesting we turn off the television and make this a topic of discussion: How do you define gratitude?
With kindness, I hope. With kindness for all.
— Mary Kate Leming, Editor