choose-happiness-4I believe happiness is tied to gratitude. However, one morning I watched a couple of kids running to their bus. By the looks on their faces it was obvious that they were happy. So did their happiness come from gratefulness? Were they grateful that they were going to school? Were they grateful that the bus was there on time? Were they grateful for a cold March morning? I doubt it. I realized then that a child’s happiness isn’t based on gratitude at all. So not ALL happiness is based on targeted gratitude or a spirit of continual gratefulness. What is the root of happiness then?

Children are naturally happy when their needs are met. When they have a healthy, balanced and satisfied home life and are able to be out enjoying life as children. Adults are different. Adults have expectations and responsibilities that weigh on them. Adults judge. They judge themselves and others based upon beliefs and expectations. Children, absent negative adult influence, do not have the pressures of expectation or the weight of judgement, they just absorb and react.

It is in this reality that gratefulness is critical to adult happiness because it causes adults to reframe their expectations. The gratitude of adults, when expressed and lived out daily, is a tremendous influence on others and teaches children to appreciate and be grateful also. West actively practice and teach gratefulness – for ourselves and the children.

What is fun is often temporary and happiness isn’t joy. Real joy comes from another set of results of gratefulness – appreciation and contentment.

So be grateful for the littlest of things because so many others exist on so much less. Appreciate these things for what they are expecting only according to what truly matters. And seek to be content, sharing life and experiences equally with others. Then teach the children by example. They are growing into adults.


~ by Jeff Williams on February 1, 2017.

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