The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

From the Head of Junior School

Gratitude: A Simple Act

‘Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude and gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.’ - Henri Frederic Amiel

Reflecting on our own childhoods, I am sure we can recall our parents repeatedly reminding us to say thank you. To look the person in the eye and acknowledge what they have done with these two simple words. That act of saying thank you was the beginning of our parents teaching us to express gratitude to the person who had done something for us. As our children grow up, the opportunities and reasons to say thank you to someone and express the gratitude they should have for what has been done for them increases.  This gratitude could be expressed to immediate members of their family, their coaches of the various teams they take part in or their teachers at school. So many people do so much for the children each and every day. That expression of a simple thank you and the expression of gratitude is important to learn and cultivate in young people. The more you give thanks, the more you end up having to be thankful for.

As parents, the modelling of this behaviour is integral to children taking it on as part of their conduct and behaviour. Teaching them how to appreciate what other people do for them by going beyond the simple act of saying thank you, expressing true gratitude in the way we behave and respond to people. This is the best way we can help them along that journey of understanding the importance of this simple act.

As parents, if we express to the coaches, to the person in the shop and to the children’s teachers the gratitude we have for what they do with a simple thank you or a kind comment. Encouraging our children to do the same will help make the paying of gratitude more than simple lip service but a matter of heart. This helps our children reflect on the many things that people do to help them each and every day.

‘When you see and feel gratitude, you cannot describe it. It fills every part of your mind, body and soul. It is exactly like love, you just know when are feeling it.” Lee Watanabe- Crocket