The seventh of an eight-day exploration of everyday gratitude. Inspired by our new book, Everyday Gratitude: Inspiration for Living Life as a Gift.
Welcome to our practice. Let’s begin…
We invite you to close your eyes and take one or two slow, deep breaths. Then open your eyes and read today’s quote by Anne Frank: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
“How can I improve the world right now?” is a powerful question to carry with us as it is always “now.” There is just this moment and in each moment, through our choices, we can orient ourselves toward improving our world. What a magnificent and humbling task! Do we feel called to act? And if so, how? We are the world – active participants in a vast unfolding – and every word, action, and intention makes a difference. Happily, there are no right or wrong answers to this inquiry as we ask ourselves: How can I improve the world right now?
Share your responses to any of the above in the reflection area below, write in a journal at home (or online), or simply let the quote and question accompany you throughout the day.
Notice how this exploration impacts you… and those around you.
The possibility of improving the world invites us deeper into the landscape of our planetary village and home, and with more intention. Everyday Gratitude, and grateful living, remind us that acting on behalf of those freedoms and concerns for which we are most grateful can be a sustainable and uplifting path to improving life for everyone.
For further inspiration you might appreciate:
I Tell You – a poem by Susan Glassmeyer
I Will Be a Hummingbird – a 2-minute video of Wangari Maathai telling a story
How Gratitude Motivates Us to Become Better People – an article highlighting research from the Greater Good Science Center
The image above is excerpted from Everyday Gratitude © by A Network for Grateful Living; book design and lettering by Alethea Morrison; watercolors and cover illustration © Katie Eberts, with additional watercolors by Clikchic Designs; used with permission from Storey Publishing.
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When I reflect on the bad things that are happening I feel overwhelmed and paralyzed. Then, I visualize my little life in the wholeness of this world: family, friends, society, my gifts and limitations . What could I do, at 80, to share my life in a concrete and meaningful way? For the past several years I have chosen to share through emails weekly reflections to a group of friends who are searching and seem to feel lost, they live in a chasm between the spirituality they have been brought up, (they have grown and don’t realize it) and the place they are in right now. It is a very rewarding enterprise and I am grateful for this opportunity. I feel if I touch just one life this faithfulness would have been worth while.
Blessings and gratefulness to all who read this voice.
How can I improve the world right now? For the past 4 years my husband and I have raised monarch caterpillars in our home, tagged the monarchs and released them to their journey to Mexico. We have almost 70 caterpillars in various stages of growth. Since only 10% of the monarch caterpillars left out of doors survive to become monarchs we feel that we are helping this threatened species – in our own small way – make a comeback. So my days are full of finding caterpillars, feeding them and cleaning..We feel honored to be able to make this small contribution.
How can I improve the world right now?
i am a social worker and a teacher, and i help urban poor children at risk and parents prevent abuse from happening to them; inculcating goodness and dreaming a better future, hopefully their future be brighter and help make our society more humane too.
How can I improve the world right now? Remembering that “Of my own self I can do nothing, it is The Father within that doeth the works” and asking to be an instrument of God and letting the Good flow out into the world.
Blessings of peace to all?
Sheila I value your comment a lot, it reminds me that our main task is to be able to let go of our own self centered moving will, and to learn to trust wholeheartedly in the Father. This let go, this opening in itself is our service to the world, because in it we give ourselves as servants to the most precious thing.
We must not be deluded that this wholehearted giving is a negative death, but be certain and assured that it is the only Way to true living.
Write an entry in your private gratefulness journal
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We are delighted to announce the release of Kristi Nelson’s book Wake Up Grateful