Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.

Rule #3: Live with Gratitude (Mom)

Gratitude rhymes with attitude—something you already know a lot about, my sweet children—and that is what it is, an attitude of gratefulness. Gratitude is no accident; it is an essential life skill to be gently cultivated through the years of your life. Ironically, those who seem to have the least to be thankful for are usually the best at gratitude. We can learn from them, as gratitude reminds us of what is truly important.

Right now I am grateful for:

  • The homemade cinnamon rolls I ate this morning
  • My three beloved daughters
  • The strong but vulnerable man of great character I married
  • My coat (it’s cold outside)
  • My students

Science agrees with me. Grateful people are generally happier; they have less stress and are better connected to their communities. When you feel overwhelmed, when the ugliness of the world gets ahold of your heart, or when you want to give up, gratitude can be a balm for your soul and a source of strength, giving you the chance to recenter yourself, focus on what is truly important, and move from pain to healing.

For your mental, spiritual and physical well-being, even and especially when you are not feeling grateful, do your best to cultivate gratitude. Every. Single. Day.

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