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Read the Sign

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Today, we want to share a short story with you about Gratitude.

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which read, "I am blind, please help."

There were only a few coins in the hat – spare change from folks as they hurried past.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. Then he put the sign back in the boy's hand so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.

That afternoon, the man who had changed the sign returned to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?"

The man said, "I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way."

I wrote, "Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it."

Both signs spoke the truth. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind, while the second sign allowed those walking by to PAUSE and consider what a gift it was to be able to see…

The re-written sign helped people think about the "obvious"—it was a beautiful day, and they could SEE it.

This beautiful story highlights our tendency as human beings to rush through our lives and forget to appreciate what we have, and yet, with a little "sign," we can grow in our ability to feel and express Gratitude.

So what, then, is Gratitude?

We found a definition from Robert Emmons, a leading scientific expert on Gratitude enlightening:

He writes, “Gratitude has two components. First, it's the affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts, benefits we've received. In the second part of Gratitude, we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves. We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you're of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives."

Gratitude is not only an emotion; it's a way to see the world that can lead to tremendous physical, psychological, social, and emotional benefits. But it doesn’t come easily.

How do we develop the ability to SEE the obvious? To practice Gratitude?

It takes lots and lots of moments of looking for the good things in our life, writing it down, saying it out loud, and expressing it to others.

Why not take advantage of the month of November to practice?

For the next 30 days, Vicky and I are taking on the “gratitude challenge!” We are going to write down ONE thing we are grateful for every day. We invite you to join us.

To make it easier for our ADD brains, we have created a handout (attached to this email) that you can download and use to write down what you’re grateful for.

And if you find yourself getting stuck...Ask yourself:

  • What things bring me joy, delight, wonder, amazement, satisfaction, or meaning in my life?

  • What would my life be like without...? (the things we take for granted) Sunshine, music, hugs, friendship, children, health, nature, etc…

  • And which of these things am I grateful for today?

Are you up for the challenge?

We hope you will join us!

We’d love to read the things that you are grateful for, either big or small. Share in the comments below!


Coco and Vicky

PS. Come and hang out with us inside our Private Facebook Group (Click here to join).

Click the image below to grab our FREE guide!

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1 Comment

Sarah E Topel
Sarah E Topel
Nov 23, 2021

Kayden and I do this every year! It's such a great way to bust through the holiday chaos when we take a few minutes at the start of each day to give thanks for what we have, who we are, and all that we hope to accomplish this year. Thank you for this reminder!

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