Blog Character Chats

How do we show thankfulness?

Every month here at True Balance Karate, we have a social and emotional learning program called True Character.

This month’s word of the month is thankfulness.

How exactly do we go about showing thankfulness? Let’s go over a couple ways that we can do that.

Send a letter or make a card

We can send a letter or make a card.

Here’s a secret: everybody still loves getting actual mail.

Nobody likes getting emails anymore. I get 1,000 text messages a day, none of which are personal. Text and email is fine for things like, “Hey, I’ll see you at 4:00 o’clock.” Facebook messages are fine. When it’s somebody’s birthday, we post a little thing and maybe share a picture of their birthday with them.

But really, everybody actually likes getting mail.

A good way to say you’re thankful for somebody is to send them a card. Send them something in the mail.

When is the last time you got something sent to you just saying, “Hey, thanks for being you. I appreciate you”? How do you think that makes the other person feel? Makes them feel pretty good when somebody goes out of their way to write a letter, put a stamp on it, put it in the post office.

I know it sounds like an ancient process. But when you go through all that effort, you really make somebody feel good.

Let’s try sending letters and writing cards, using that mail to show that you’re thankful.

Giving back

Another way we can show we’re thankful is by giving back.

When somebody has helped you, you can help them. Maybe your friend needed help moving — or maybe you needed help moving. You moved into a new house, so your friends came over and helped you pack up all your toys.

You can do something to help your friends in return. You can go to their house, and help them with stuff.

Maybe a friend of yours helps you with your homework. Maybe they’re a little better at math and you struggle a little bit in math. So they came over and helped you out, talked on the phone, walked you through it.

Well, you can turn around and give back by help them with something. Maybe you’re actually a little better at spelling. “Hey, why don’t I help you in spelling? I’m a little better in spelling. You’re a little better at math. We can work together to get it done.”

We can really show our thankfulness to people in this way.

Sure, if somebody helps us, we say “thank you.” If somebody holds the door for us, we say “thank you.” If somebody makes a dinner for us, we say “thank you.”

But you can show you’re thankful by doing something back for them. How about a little homework, kids? Try making some food for mom and dad. They made your food your whole life. You can say, “You know what, I’m going to make you dinner today. I’m going to make you breakfast this Sunday.”

I bet that’s a great way to show how thankful you are, and they’ll really appreciate it.

Give a hug

Yet another way we can show we’re thankful is to give someone a hug.

You can just give them a hug to show you’re thankful.

You know who’s good at that? My dogs — especially my fluffy one.

Here in class, we talk about my fluffy dog, Sam. When we walk into the door Sam jumps up and greets and grabs a hold of me. He gives me a big old hug, every day. He’s saying “I’m so thankful you’re home.”

Sometimes Master H. yells at me for greeting the dog before I say hi to her. I say, “Well, he seems a lot more excited to see me. He seems more thankful to see me.”

We can show our thankfulness by giving somebody a hug.

Spending time

We can also show our thankfulness by spending time with someone we love and doing something that person likes to do.

A lot of times, grown ups and the people around us do the things we like to do. But you can give back by doing something they like to do.

Maybe your dad plays video games with you, like Plants versus Zombies, but he really actually likes to play Mario Kart — because that’s the only video game he actually understands.

Well, you could show you’re thankful by maybe suggesting to your dad tonight, “Hey, how about we actually play Mario Kart?” You can even pretend to like it for a little bit.

Give a gift

We can also show our thankfulness by giving a gift.

It’s November now, so we’re coming up to that season pretty soon. Everybody likes to receive a gift, especially something personal — like something that you make.

You can use your thankfulness, speaking of something you make, by using your talents to show someone you’re thankful.

If you’re good at art, you draw them a picture. If you play music, play them a song. Or play a song special for them — record it and send it to them. Probably Grandma and Grandpa would love to get a recording of your song just sent to them, out of the blue, for no reason.

We can use those gifts we have.

Maybe people like being around you because you’re funny. You can visit an older relative and just have a chat with them. Use your gift to talk — your gift to be funny — to brighten up their day.

There are lots of ways that we can be thankful.

I want you all to try to come with some ways that you can show your thankfulness to those people around you who love you, and for those people that you love back too.

Thanks, and we will see everybody out on the mat.
– Master Helsdon