This year I am thinking about Thanksgiving differently.
Thanksgiving is a time where gratitude takes front and center. When I journal each morning, I try and recognize the many things and people I am grateful for.
If you are thinking about gratitude this week, I suggest moving from statements of gratitude to actions of gratitude.
It is paradoxical that we express gratitude and then get on social media or sit around the dining room table and distinctly pick sides.
It all seems very binary. If I am right, then you have to be wrong.
We see this in political conversations, ethical discussions or anytime we get into a disagreement or debate with someone.
We have to win, and they have to lose.
Does everything have to fall into one bucket or another?
All this does is create separateness and tension which seems odd during a time of gratitude!
The key to acting grateful is start by viewing our interactions as “grey”.
We can be happy and sad at the same time. Why can’t opposing points of view exist at the same time and result in everyone being a winner?
When you are acting in the grey zone, you are striving to ask questions rather than make statements.
The following 4 minute video is a great scene that highlights this point.
When you have strong beliefs and want to focus on expressing them, that is where the thinking stops.
This means more listening and less talking at the dinner table or on social media.
Instead of giving answers, search for questions!
You can say things such as: “I am struggling with something you said and trying to figure it out, can you expand or explain further?” That is an example of leading with vulnerability.
By practicing “I don’t knowness” you will take gratitude to a new level.
This Thanksgiving, if you find yourself speaking to someone with a viewpoint you disagree with, instead of focusing on agreeing to disagree, ask questions, chose empathy over judgement and call someone “in” instead of calling them “out”.
Have a great holiday,
“Be Curious, Not Judgmental” Walt Whitman
“Every silver lining got a touch of grey” Touch of Grey, Grateful Dead