IFYC’s Guide to Gratitude this Holiday Season
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” - Marcel Proust, French novelist
This holiday season, people across the nation are going above and beyond to make sacrifices, and change traditions, to ensure that everyone around them is safe. To them, and to you, we want to say: thank you, we are all deeply grateful.
Though the holidays will look and feel different than years before, we know that gratitude and appreciation will still enliven the spirit of this festive season. We reached out to our IFYC network to learn how they were staying in an attitude for gratitude this season, and we are excited to share a list of wonderful resources people are reading, watching, and listening to:
- Ready for More Gratitude -- A sermon from Pastor Jeanne Stevens on how practicing gratitude helps us see the better and bigger picture – and to see the current moment, however challenging it might be, as a gift.
- Ted Lasso -- An empathetic and comedic American sitcom that follows a small-time football coach, Ted Lasso, who is hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer.
- About Time -- Streaming on Netflix, this movie is a phenomenal, heartwarming reminder to be grateful for the life we've been given.
- TedX Talk by Shawn Achor -- An inspiring talk about the power of positive psychology – and gratitude in particular – to produce happiness.
- City so Real -- Academy Award ®-nominated filmmaker Steve James’ fascinating and complex portrait of contemporary Chicago delivers a deep, multifaceted look into the soul of a quintessentially American city, set against the backdrop of its history-making 2019 mayoral election, and the tumultuous 2020 summer of COVID-19 and social upheaval following the death of George Floyd.
- Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address -- This video, filmed on location at the Onondaga Nation School in Onondaga Nation, focuses on the purpose and uses of the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. Representatives from the Onondaga Nation talk about the history of the Address and how the Address changes depending on who is saying it.
Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results -- The influential New York Times bestselling authors—the “apostles of appreciation” Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick—provide managers and executives with easy ways to add more gratitude to the everyday work environment to help bolster moral, efficiency, and profitability.
Jesus and the Disinherited, Howard Thurman -- In this classic theological treatise, the acclaimed theologian and religious leader Howard Thurman (1900-1981) demonstrates how the gospel may be read as a manual of resistance for the poor and disenfranchised.
A Time to Build -- From family and community to congress and the campus, Yuval Levin writes how recommitting to our institutions can revive the American dream.
Inspirational quotes, like “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough,” Meister Eckhart, Christian Mystic.
Thanksgiving Day Prayer by Walter Rauschenbusch -- An excerpt: We thank you for our senses, By which we hear the songs of birds, And see the splendor of the summer fields, And taste of the autumn fruits, And rejoice in the feel of the snow, And smell the breath of the spring.
Pandemic by Lynn Ungar: An excerpt: And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart. Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer -- In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.
The Optimist from the Washington Post -- A selection of inspiring stories to help you disconnect, hit refresh and start the week off right, delivered every Wednesday and Sunday.
The Good Stuff from CNN – A weekly newsletter that shares stories of fascinating discoveries, everyday heroes, inspiring movements and great things happening right in your backyard.
NYT’s ‘Wordplay’ Column -- This column about NYT’s daily crosswords includes a section from the constructor of each day’s puzzle, and they are consistently, amazingly, full of gratitude.
When Things Fall Apart -- How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart—when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect.
Is Thanksgiving Just for the ‘Haves’? -- Paul Raushenbush explores what Thanksgiving means when it is stripped of all the things we ‘have.’
- The Big Benefits of a Little Thanks -- Harvard Business Review professors Francesca Gino and Adam Grant talk about their research on gratitude. Their research shows the workplace is the place where gratitude is lacking but has the potential to be incredibly powerful.
- Modern Love podcast -- These stories are a great reminder of all the beautifully imperfect ways we seek and offer love.
- Poetry Unbound by Onbeing: Anchor your week by listening to the everyday poetry of your life, with new episodes on Monday and Friday during the season.
- On Being with Krista Tippett -- A Peabody Award-winning public radio show and podcast. What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live? And who will we be to each other? Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives.
- Jesuitical -- Each episode features a guest who offers a unique perspective on faith, culture or current events.
- Alicia Keys, Brandi Carlile - A Beautiful Noise
- Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!: NPR -- An hour-long weekly news radio panel show produced by WBEZ and National Public Radio in Chicago, Illinois. On the program, panelists and contestants are quizzed in humorous ways about that week's news.
- Unlocking Us -- Brené Brown unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted.
- I Weigh -- a community allyship platform built to share ideas and stories that ultimately mobilize activism.
- Scene on Radio -- Scene on Radio is a Peabody-nominated podcast that dives deeply into issues central to American society, exploring who we were and who we are.
- 10,000 Maniacs - These Are Days
- Leonard Cohen - Passing Through
If you are looking for a way to become an interfaith leader, work for racial equity and build bridges, please check out our free curriculum "We Are Each Other's" and start your interfaith leadership today.
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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.