Most people agree that it’s a good thing to be grateful, that you should express thankfulness, maybe they even agree that you should do this for all things. But do they really stop to think about why this is? Why should we express gratitude for the things that have happened in our lives, good or bad?
Why should we reflect on the experiences that have brought us to this point in time and made us into the people that we are?The fact of the matter is, science has shown that this practice has proven benefits for us. We believe that this is even more substantial for male Black educators. Here’s why.
Gratitude Reframes Our Mind
We often talk about how Black male educators are put into positions that go beyond the normal scope of work for a teacher. We’re asked to be role models for young Black men and to be counselors, mediators, or coaches. While this added pressure can often cause stress, if we could just pause in those moments and be grateful for the influence we’re able to have on others in our community, we can instantly reframe our mind and train it to see the positive in the responsibility.
Gratitude Has Healing Powers
People who make an intentional effort to live with gratitude have seen health benefits from the practice – both mental and physical. Some studies have shown that being grateful lowers a person’s blood pressure and reduces feelings of envy. People have higher self-esteem and find it easier to be sociable when they approach life with gratitude instead of negative thoughts. or feelings.
It may be easy to brush off gratitude as something reserved for holidays or maybe just for women. In reality, we as Black men should practice this just as much as anyone else, if not more. We have years of racial injustice weighing on us daily. By taking a few moments every day to practice gratitude, we can help relieve stress and heal the pain we all carry inside.
Reflection Helps Replicate Success
Another form of gratitude is the art of reflection. This is best exemplified in those who, at the end of a calendar year, take some time to reflect on the past year to identify areas they could have done better and to find moments of success.
By reflecting on each, people are able to modify behaviors to avoid the same failures or replicate those habits and actions that led to success.
Gratefulness for All Things In All Things
Since both failures and successes shaped us into the men that we are today, we should be grateful for them. Be grateful for the things that took us to our knees and made us rise stronger. Showing gratitude for the things that broke the hearts of our communities helped us form stronger bonds with our brothers and sisters.
The things that threatened to take our very lives created a boldness in all of us that will change the world. Reflect. Be grateful. March onward to our calling as Black men. Bold. Black. Strong.