A Lesson in Gratitude

How a summer workshop taught a student the value of giving thanks


The video diary app “1 Second Everyday”

At a month-long professional theater intensive in Hilton Head, SC, in the summer of 2018, my director constantly reminded us of the camp’s motto: gratitude is the attitude. That phrase has stuck with ever since. I entered my sophomore year with a goal to be grateful – for the little things, along with the big. The moments spent with friends in the junior lot after practice, singing with your car roof down and music blaring out the windows, the shared laughter when a teacher’s microphone glitches on Google Meet. 

To achieve my goal of gratitude, I downloaded One Second Everyday, a video diary app that I use to shoot one second of video every day to remind myself that there is always good in my life, in big and small ways. At the end of each month, I look back at the 30-second compilation of videos from that past month and smile, grateful for the people and special moments that bring me joy and make me laugh every day.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we enter the season of gratitude. This November, I encourage you to look for ways to show your gratitude towards others, especially those with whom you disagree. With our Marist Way theme of “Ardent Love of Neighbor,” we are challenged and called to reach out to those that are different from us and love them. How can we learn to be grateful not just for others but for ourselves, too? First, I recommend downloading the One Second Everyday app. The simple act of filming one second of video every day will force you to be grateful for even the smallest of moments you might not think of otherwise. And two? Start writing. Begin or end everyday by making a list of five things you are grateful for, and I guarantee your entire mindset will change as you enter each new day.

I leave you today with this message: let gratitude be the attitude you live by every single day. It will remind you of all the good in others and in the world, and your true laugh and smile will be present. I also leave you with two quotes I cherish, the former being a widget on my phone and the latter in my email signature.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” – Robert Brault

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

I am grateful for you, War Eagles. Now go out in the world with your gratitude.