Years ago, I visited New York City. My strongest memory is this: at a busy Starbucks, I shared a genuine "thank you" with the barista; she looked up at me, wide-eyed, and said, "You’re welcome!" In those moments, I saw the power of a simple yet meaningful thank you—a pause for connection.
It's easy to rush through life, but the pauses connect us. When I pause, the quality of my heart shifts. There's time to be kind; to share a genuine thank-you or provide comfort. And there's space to be grateful. I'm grateful for big things, like a safe environment and loving friends. I’m equally grateful for little things: rays of sunshine, fresh spinach at the market, or an elongated hug.
Gratitude is a current research topic. The studies show that gratitude practice is consistently and strongly associated with happiness. There’s so much beauty and kindness in this world. It’s easy to forget, but we can remember. For what are we grateful? What small moments have changed our days and our lives? How do we give thanks?