Gratitude Goes a Long Way

Luis Irizarry-Ramirez, Writer

What does it mean to be grateful? “Being thankful for what you have…and happy with what you have..Respect/Appreciation.”  Is one of the answers that the Students and the Staff told the Independent in a survey regarding the meaning of gratefulness. With the Gratitude event at South, the Independent decided to survey students & faculty on  what gratitude is and how to easily practice it.


According to google, gratitude is “thankfulness or gratefulness, from the Latin word gratus ‘pleasing, thankful’.” Although it might be easy to think about being grateful, gratitude in practice can be more complicated than one might think. The Independent asked students and staff on a scale of 1-10 how much gratitude they saw in Glenbard South. It was startling how divided people were on this. After the results were in, we saw a range of 5’s to 8’s but barely any 10’s. 


After a struggling year of zoom meetings, social distancing, and masks, it is understandable that the normal flow of things takes time to come back. Showing gratitude can be positive for dealing with hardships. Harvard Health Publishing explains in one of their articles, “Certainly, major depression or a severe anxiety disorder benefits most from professional help… Research (and common sense) suggests that one aspect of the Thanksgiving season can lift the spirits, and it’s built right into the holiday — being grateful. ” 


Recently, Glenbard South PE classes shared and listened to a Suicide Prevention and Awareness video where students were told how to notice cues of a potentially suicidal person and whom to contact for help. Harvard Health Publishing gives an insight that gratefulness was one aspect of turning down depressive states and negative thoughts which could lead to suicide. 


How often do people in our school show gratitude? Responses to the Gratitude survey sent out by the Independent varied. But a common theme was the possibility to increase gratitude on a day-to-day basis. 


How easy is it to show Gratitude? What does it take?According to the results received through the Independent’s survey, not much. “A card…A food or pastry” were these responses commonly chosen. Of course, there are always more extravagant things people could do. The 


Students and Staff were asked what they would do to show Gratitude… their answers were as follows: “I am going to make an effort to just tell people thank you (not sarcastically… :)) whenever I get the chance”, “I am going to write a card or small note to those I wish to thank.”, “I try to be thankful with words and praise, as well as with individual notes to those that are making a difference for our school or to me personally.”, ” Try to thank people when they deserve it.”, “…a thank you here and there goes a long way”. 


Now, let’s circle back to the first question: what is gratitude? Gratitude is not only an act but a feeling. It is appreciating small moments—not looking at things from a pessimistic point of view. Gratitude begins with one’s mindset.


 In her response to the survey, Ms. Varner, a Math Teacher in Glenbard, wrote; “I am thankful I can wake up and see a sunrise, and I am also thankful for the big things like support systems and people in my life! I hope that with time it is something that has been “woven” into my personality. I wish it was not something we had to actively think to “show” and just learn to adopt it into our very nature/ posture for the day!”


About Gratitude Day at South

           Gratitude day, the day in which students gave notes to many,  and had the opportunity to make a difference with a simple thank you. Will you be that person who writes a thank you to make someone’s day? 


Quick Note from Luis Irizarry Ramirez.

Thank you to all those who answered the form. It was most appreciated. Remember to think of the small things even when all seems down. Be grateful for what you have because tomorrow, you might not have it. Hold everything dear to your heart, and you will always be happy.