Here’s a wonderful way to express thankfulness, help others to know the difference they make in our lives, and create a ripple effect of considerable magnitude.
1. Give everyone a blank 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper and a pen. If you have a large group, you may want to give everyone two pieces of paper paper-clipped together (You may want to splurge for nice paper and Sharpies of various colors)
2. Have everyone write their name at the top of the paper (or both papers if they have two) and then pass it to the person on their right. (If someone refuses to participate or is absent from the gathering, write their name on top of a piece of paper for them)
3. Give everyone a minute or two to write at least one thing they are thankful for about the person whose name is at the top of the page. It could be something about their personality, a talent or skill they have, how they touched you or helped you in the past or present (If you have young children at the table, you may want to allow more time so an older child or grown-up can write what they want to say for them) Ring a bell to indicate they have about 30 seconds left and ring the bell to indicate that time is up.
4. Instruct everyone to pass their paper to their right.
5. Continue steps 3, 4 and 5 until everyone has the piece of paper with their name on it back in front of them.
6. Give everyone a minute or two to read what’s been written for them.
7. Invite everyone to read aloud what’s on their sheet of paper. Ask who wants to go first, and next and so on until everyone has shared.
8. To conclude, thank everyone for sharing and thank them for the difference they make in your life and in the lives of others.
9. You may want to provide a folder, an envelope or a plastic sleeve for them to put their paper in or a ribbon to tie around the paper rolled into a scroll.
This activity works great around the dinner table, around a conference table at work, in a circle in a classroom, in any group to which we belong.
When we invoke the power of thankfulness we tap into an incredible power within ourselves and others. We rekindle the spark of love, re-ignite our creativity, re-invoke our state of wonder and restore our sense of purpose. We become inspired.
And it is when we are inspired that we achieve significant, meaningful, long-lasting results.
How could you express thankfulness at Thanksgiving?
For more on thankfulness, read or listen to my Forward Thinking Reminder: The Power of Thankfulness: How to be Thankful in Difficult Times
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