This week at Branksome we celebrated gratitude by being actively thankful and showing appreciation for each other. Showing gratitude can be as simple as saying “thank you,” smiling at someone or returning kindness.
We kicked off the week with a gratitude assembly, led by Cecily, our Social and Wellness Prefect. “This week I prompt you to recall something you are grateful for or to acknowledge someone around you who reached out a helping hand,” said Cecily. “Or, thank someone who did all they could to help you succeed. It starts with each of you.”
During assembly, we heard various stories of gratitude from students across grades but it was Grade 10 student Zainab’s story, about an experience she had last year, that really captivated the audience.
“I was feeling stressed, anxious, like everything I was doing was going wrong. I had tests, assignments and homework on top of more homework,” Zainab began. “I was focusing on everything negative and I wanted it all to stop. So I stopped. I just sat there. And it wasn’t until that moment, my lowest moment, that I learned the true power of gratitude.”
Zainab recounted that she immediately grabbed a notebook and started writing a list of every little thing she had previously taken for granted. Once finished, she looked at the list and felt at peace. “It showed me that you don’t have to be happy to be grateful, but you do have to be grateful to be happy,” she said.
“Ever since, I’ve kept a journal of gratitude, where I write three things I am grateful for before going to bed and it turns any bad day into a better one,” Zainab said.
Throughout the week, events were held to promote conversations about gratitude, including the creation of two gratitude walls in the Senior and Middle School. Students were encouraged to write what they’re grateful for and post it to the walls. Some of the messages mentioned, “my parents,” “best friends” and “camp.”
Students have done an amazing job of deepening their understanding of their gratitude this week and have been heartened to continue being thankful in their daily lives.