Can Blessings Unify Us?
I’ve felt extra blessed this year, thanks in no small part to my #HappinessUnites Tour. I’ve visited new places, met Society members I didn’t know outside the internet, and reconnected with others. Since the tour is ongoing until I complete 100+ Events and Activities, I’ll be doing more in 2018.
I’ve also met total strangers who’ve never heard of the Society, and got to talk to them about happiness. Yes, that required me to push the boundaries of my inner introvert. I’ve also sent post cards from my tour stops to people I met along the way. Hopefully, I contributed to a few stranger smiles along the journey. My biggest surprise: How many people rarely use social media sites, but that’s another story.
One of the common conversation themes with everyone has been the agreement that more things unite us than divide us. We just forget to notice, and it’s hard to notice when we’re bombarded with controversial topics from the news and from our friends on social media. I’m filling our Parade of Smiles page with pictures of people who agree #HappinessUnites us — it makes me grin to see their smiling faces, and we add more every month.
It’s Time Of Year To Count Our Blessings
November is the month in which we’re encouraged to count our blessings. This has made me wonder: If everyone listed their top 10 blessings, how many of us would list many of the same things? How many of us are actually united by our overlapping blessings, and don’t even think of it?
Many Thanksgiving tables will have everything from delightful debates to hostile arguments about personal and political differences. Conversations about differences are healthy as long as they are respectful, but unfortunately, many people don’t know how to debate. People talk to be heard and forget the other half of a conversation is listening to another person’s perspective — even when it’s different than your own.
If you find yourself in this type of situation, it’s really okay to not participate and only listen — even if you’re eyes are rolling on the inside. In the end, as hard as it may be, you can feel blessed that you practiced compassion.
How Our Blessings Unify Us
This year, consider adding one more conversation topic to your Thanksgiving table. Ask everyone to share five blessings. Then, see how many people list the same things – even if they disagree on other things. You might even want to get creative and ask people to fill out a card so you can collect them, and share them out loud. Then, let others guess whose card it is. That way, you can also count how many blessings overlap.
To get the ball rolling, I’ll share five of my blessings from 2017. I highlighted the words that might overlap with something on your list:
1. The gift of time to grieve my dad’s death without having to be employed at a traditional job.
2. My friend family, who makes me smile every day.
3. I got to travel for the #HappinessUnites Tour and meet new happy fabulous people – some of whom I now call friends. I also did some things on my bucket list.
5. Every day I get to wake up thinking about how I can make the world smile more – and I can’t think of a greater blessing than that because it makes me happy!
Please take a moment to share a few of your blessings with us, we’d love to hear about them! And, have a safe and very Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!