Happiness and Gratitude

I recently watched a TED Talk, actually watched it at least five times and counting. Brian Doyle, a The George Washington University social justice student, gave it. In this inspiring talk he discusses how a near death experience made him realize that life is fragile and limited. He then thought about the nature of relationships he had with his family and friends. The ‘Thank Yous’ never said and the appreciations never shown. So he decided to start an initiative; he started to say ‘thank you’ to at least one person, who has helped him both past and present, a day for 365 days- a year. He so far has reached his goal, as of the TED Talk, and he is still going on with this.

After watching this TED talk, again many times, realizing that time is limited, I looked at my life at the present moment; I wondered where did I stand with relationships in my life. Did I say thank you to people that helped me? I would say, most of the people that have helped me. I am a pretty polite person if I say so myself. However, not all of the people that helped me. Perhaps, the few I didn’t thank, I thought were minor characters who really did no big favor, and thus deserved no thanks? For example, I didn’t thank the graduate student who was proctoring my final exam. She did nothing but sit there so we won’t cheat; she also provided us with the time and such.

Let me take you back, I met her couple days before the exam; we were both at the same room. She was friendly and opened a conversation about apples [as she was eating a big one] and we also talked about our majors and career goals. Fast forward final exam, when I saw that she was in the room, my anxieties dropped and remembered more class material because I saw a familiar face; it wasn’t a tight and cold environment but a cozy one. I got an A- for the first time in that difficult class. Or is it because what they did was ‘expected’. I didn’t say thanks when my mom brought that dinner dish to me. She could have easily told me to grab it myself or when she drove me home from the auto shop when my car was due in for service. I wonder that.

Inspired, now I am just like Brian and am saying thank you to at least one (or more people), who has helped and is helping me, a day for 365 days. I call it the #365thankyouchallenge. I hope you would take the challenge with me too! Hey, what could possibly go wrong, but you brightening some one’s day? Thank You!

PS: I would like to also thank Brian Doyle for this inspiring, uplifting, and perspective talk. I learned a lot.

Here is Brian’s Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNfAnkojhoE


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