The power of a kind word
With everything that’s going on in the world, a kind word can make a difference we might never anticipate.
One of our AoCC volunteers told me this week that while she was out, she encountered a postal delivery person. Instead of hurrying by on her errand, she paused, looked her in the eye, and said, “Thank you for all you do for our community. I appreciate you.”
Visibly moved, she replied, “Thank you. You have no idea how much that means to me.”
At the AoCC, we use liberty’s torch as our symbol. We strive to be a beacon of humanity, celebrating movement toward equality and democracy–and the unsung heroes who help us get there. For this reason, we include Acts of Gratitude in every edition.
But there’s another reason: Science shows that the act of expressing heartfelt thanks produces positive feelings and healing hormones. If there was ever a time where reducing depression, physical pain, stress, aggression, social comparison, and anxiety would be useful, it would be right now. Gratitude does that. It spreads warmth, like light.
The light of gratitude
The practice of expressing thanks is useful to ongoing civic engagement, because it has been scientifically found to improve:
- feelings of empathy
- happiness (sometimes for days)
- overall health and self-care
- stronger relationships
- impulse control and willpower
- deep, satisfying sleep
- trauma healing
- feelings of connection
When we experience these benefits, we feel better about ourselves and life, and are more likely to be engaged in serving others.
In this time of social distancing, gratitude is a powerful way to deepen our relationships, strengthen connections, and bring warmth to our virtual meetings.
Let me show you
I’m grateful for you because it wasn’t that long ago I was just one person alone, immobilized by her fear of the future. AoCC started just as a small email to some of my equally nervous friends. But they liked the clear actions I created and shared them with their friends. Within three months, we had over 35,000 subscribers–maybe you’re one of them!–and suddenly I wasn’t alone anymore.
Now, with over 70,000 subscribers—plus thousands of social media fans, generous Angels, and over 50 incredible volunteers—we’ve become a movement, a force for good. I am grateful to my very core because together we’re working toward a better future in spite of daunting odds. You help me find my bravery and hope—a gift I can never repay—and this helps me persevere. Thank you so much for being here.
(That feels good to read, doesn’t it? It felt amazing to write it to you!)
Now it’s your turn
In this week’s AoC Checklist, we’re asking you to spread that warm light too. Action #1 invites you to start with gratitude. For example, you could…
- Write a note of gratitude to someone you appreciate.
- If you notice service workers if (when) you are out, pause to acknowledge their contributions.
- Is there someone you’ve been meaning to thank?
You can pick up the phone or a pen or find the words–not just to make them feel all those benefits listed above, but yourself as well.
Our goal this week
Do you think our subscribers can do 1,000 expressions of thanks this week?
If so, be sure to check off the first action in this week’s Checklist so we can count your kind action toward our goal.
Rest when you need to, and keep taking good care of yourself and each other! We’re in this together, friends.
P.S. See you today on the Sunday Spark session at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific!