Lesson 5. Being Grateful for Kindness and Grace

Section 1. Gratitude
In the 21st century, there are many conflicts and wars due to different views on race, ethnicity, region, religion and sects. Gratitude is a peace-based value that can overcome such closed collectivism, and strengthen the solidarity of societies, states, and the international society.

Section 2: Gratitude and Peace
Gratitude is helpful in creating social relations and strengthening ties between nations. For example, during World War II, Norway received help from England. Ever since then, Norway has gifted a Christmas tree to England’s Trafalgar Square every December since 1947, without missing a year. In 2019, Canada sent firefighters to Queensland, Australia to help extinguish the wildfires. François-Philippe Champagne, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs at that time, expressed in an official statement that “When wildfires spread through Canadian communities, Australia answered our call for help. We are proud to do the same.”

Section 3: Gratefulness and Peace That Begins with Myself
Gratitude should be a part of our daily lives, and we should express it frequently. Let’s start with baby steps, such as writing daily gratitude journals and expressing our gratitude to our neighbors. If we express our gratitude regardless of nationality, race, and religion, we can create a peaceful world by spreading warmth and love.

Am I thankful for the little things? Gratitude is not only for when good things happen. We can feel true gratitude by recognizing the everyday kindness that we take for granted. However, this is not easy. That’s why we have to reflect on the kindness we’ve received in our lives. By looking back on our day, we can recognize everything that we took for granted that we can be thankful for. If it is difficult for us to find something to be thankful for, imagine a world without anything that exists in our lives now. “What would life be like if I couldn’t see or hear?” “What if I had no friends or family?” “What if I had no teachers?” “What would life be like without firefighters, police and doctors?” “What if this country didn’t exist?” “What if there was no water or light?” Let’s imagine life without these everyday gifts. What will happen then? We’ll be thankful for what we once took for granted. We often only focus on what we lack and complain habitually without even realizing it. However, if we change our perspective and way of thinking, there are countless things we can be grateful for.

Gratitude makes our lives more full. When we are grateful, our body functions better. Gratitude makes us more positive, and helps us move forward even in difficult times. It also helps us make more friends and strengthen ties. If a drop of paint falls into a glass of water, it will spread throughout the water. Just like this, gratitude is an important peace-based value that will help us develop ourselves, strengthen social ties, and help create friendly international relations. Let’s practice peace by thanking those around us and writing gratitude journals.