In 2011 writer and artist Anne O. Kubitsky printed out 500 invitation cards asking people to share what they’re grateful for in a postcard (and mail it back to her). She left these cards in various places, everywhere from post offices to parks to college cafeterias to libraries.
Within three weeks she received handmade postcards from all over the world – from Oregon to Alaska to Australia to Germany. Today, she’s received thousands of responses in many different forms: letters, emails and even phone calls.
People also have submitted postcards made from leather and clay. One person submitted a 12-year Alcoholics Anonymous sobriety medallion.
According to Kubitsky in her book What Makes You Grateful? Voices from Around the World, we always have something to be grateful for. “We just have to be open enough to see it.”
Some days, of course, depending on what you’re going through, gratitude may not feel so accessible. It may not be easy to see the good in this world. But, as Kubitsky writes, it is possible. Some days, gratitude takes more work than on others.
What Makes You Grateful? is a beautiful book filled with grateful stories, poetry, quotes, photos and art from around the globe. Here are some of these responses to inspire you in cultivating a grateful life.
- “I am grateful for hope that comes with the arrival of a new baby. I am grateful for my grandchildren who remind me of small gifts in this world: the clouds, rocks, worms; the importance of laughter. The warmth of another’s hand.” ~ Betsy Devany
- “I’m grateful that I’m 91 years old and still painting! I’m grateful for lovely Maggie Valley in Haywood County, North Carolina.” ~ Denise Mccullough
- “I am grateful for kites in the breeze, for marshes and meadows, forests and trees, for waves on the beach and seals on the rocks, for friendly smiles from strangers, for the courage to smile back, and I’m grateful for gratitude which has brought me back to the center: LOVE.” ~ Caryl Anderson
- “I am thankful that I can be in this moment and take a deep breath. When everything is swirling ‘round, it is so easy to forget. I’m thankful that right now, I’m remembering to breathe.” ~ Anonymous
- “Aren’t we all a work in progress? Every day we have the opportunity to work at it and start over. For that I am grateful.” ~ Elizabeth Casaus
- “I am grateful for my sister Ann’s humor and grace following the recent loss of both her legs due to spinal meningitis and total septic shock. I am constantly amazed at her love of life and those who love her, in spite of extremely trying circumstances. She is someone who has always looked for the good in others and in life, and so steadfastly remains. If such gratitude exists for someone whom life has treated so harshly, then who am I to complain of anything at all?” ~ David
- “I am grateful wounds heal.” ~ Wendy Natter
- “I’m grateful for my life and my three children who through love and caring brought me back from the edge.” ~ Marianne
Gratitude helps us cultivate a more peaceful and joyful life. And, as Kubitsky says, we always have something to be thankful for. It may be everything from running water to a rising sun to an open door to a delicious dinner to a best friend to our beating hearts.
What are you grateful for?
Learn more about the power of gratitude at lookforthegoodproject.org.