The experience of buying my weekly veggies from the prison farm shop near my home has been life-changing. Not only does it make me ridiculously happy to know I’m buying locally grown produce free from packaging, it’s also an enjoyable social activity speaking to the people in the shop when I’m there.
It occurred to me to call the prison to see if I could pass on a message of thanks to everyone involved. I was put through to the governor. He’d just that moment finished writing a response to a complaint letter and told me it was rare that people took the time to call and say thank you.
I could tell how uplifting it was for him to receive my call. And obviously I could feel how uplifted I felt for having taken the time. And hopefully the message will be passed on to all the people who are involved with the farm and they will feel uplifted too.
I’d noticed that right above the ‘Contact’ section on the prison information page was a section titled ‘Problems and Complaints.’ When gratitude feels so good, it makes you wonder why we’ve geared everything towards complaining.
Look at the website of almost any organisation and you’ll find a ‘Complaints’ section. But when was the last time you saw a ‘Gratitude’ section?
It’s important to be able to voice our legitimate concerns and complaints. But it’s just as important (and feels way better) to voice our gratitude. When we put attention on gratitude rather than complaints, we may notice that there are many more things to be grateful for than we realised.
And, when we do things that go against the current culture, we plant seeds for changing that culture. We should never underestimate the power of our small actions.
Love and courage,