The Character Movement

a person holding up a sign that says give thanks

Stories are gateways to gratitude

By Sarah Gavigan, Youth Frontiers Communications Specialist

Each year, Thanksgiving reminds us to give voice to our gratitude for the people and the experiences that elevate our lives. We say thanks countless times around this holiday – heck, we can’t even mention the holiday without saying “thanks” (no, saying Turkey Day doesn’t count). But how often do we make our English teachers proud and show rather than tell our gratitude?

Thanksgiving platitudes regain their power when grounded in specificity.

One way to demonstrate your gratitude this year is to expound on your thanks – iterate to your friends, family and all those you hold dear why you are thankful for them. What about your friends and family do you treasure? How have they made an impression on you? What important role do they play in your life? Let these kinds of questions take you back to a time, to a place, to a story that illustrates a friend’s or family member’s significance to you. Then, share it with them.

Stories like these act as gateways to true gratitude. Through their telling, the protagonist’s value will become evident to all who are listening. Storytelling provides you with a new way to express your gratitude and also the opportunity for that person to be appreciated anew. Perhaps your story will even remind someone of an individual they’d like to exalt this holiday.

This year, Youth Frontiers staff remembered the educators whose lessons they’ve internalized, whose kindness, courage and respect they will never forget. We encourage you to watch the video below and honor these educators with us – but we hope that will just be the beginning. After watching the video, reach out to an educator or another mentor who has helped change your life for the better and remind them – or maybe tell them for the first time – how they did.

We appreciate you, dear readers, and wish you all the best from YF. Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!


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