Currently viewing the tag: "gratitude"


“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”
Maya Angelou
Tagged with:


… you feel a surge of gratitude when an ice cream seller offers you a little extra scoop on your sundae. But think of how big a regular scoop is before you calculate the total value of the extra. Plenty of companies buy more goodwill with “bonuses” than they would if they just gave people a better deal overall. It’s called the less-is-better effect, and it pops up in strange places. One study showed that people felt more gratitude for an overfilled seven ounce container of ice cream than they felt for a correctly filled eight ounce container. The idea that they got more ice cream than they expected, or than they were meant to get, made them happier than getting a genuinely larger amount. –Esther Inglis-Arkell

Fiction Writing Prompt: What tricks does your character use to create goodwill in the people he or she meets.

Journaling Prompt:  Have you ever experienced a marketing technique like this? How did you feel?

Art Prompt: Buying Goodwill

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about techniques that marketers use to buy consumer goodwill.

Photo Credit: Chiot’s Run on Flickr

be thankful

Consider the custom, in American society, of constantly saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ To do so is often treated as basic morality: we are constantly chiding children for forgetting to do it, just as the moral guardians of our society – teachers and ministers, for instance – do to everybody else. We often assume that the habit is universal, but… it is not. Like so many of our everyday courtesies, it is a kind of democratization of what was once a habit of feudal deference: the insistence on treating absolutely everyone the way that one used only to have to treat a lord or similar hierarchical superior…

All of this is a relatively recent innovation. The habit of always saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ first began to take hold during the commercial revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – among those very middle classes who were largely responsible for it. It is the language of bureaus, shops, and offices, and over the course of the last five hundred years it has spread across the world along with them. It is also merely one token of a much larger philosophy, a set of assumptions of what humans are and what they owe one another, that have by now become so deeply ingrained that we cannot see them. -David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in a society where no one says “please” or “thank you.”

Journaling Prompt: What are you grateful for today? To whom do you need to express your gratitude?

Art Prompt: Please and Thank You

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Discuss courtesy and its role in society.

Photo Credit: rustiqueart on Flickr


What if you had eternity to live? How would you stay joyful?
Growing old, for us, isn’t a matter so much of bodily decay—that is fended off by efficient processes of automatic bioenergetic correction—as of increasing inward rigidity, a creakiness of the soul, a corrugation of the psyche, a stiffening of the spiritual synapses. One starts to feel sour and petty and crabbed. Life loses its joy and its juice. -Robert Silverberg, Travelers (free to read at Lightspeed magazine)

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about eternity from the point of view of an immortal character.

Journaling Prompt: If you could live forever, what would you change today?

Art Prompt: Immortality

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about getting old.

Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney on Flickr
Tagged with:


To my friends in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving! To my friends across the world, I am taking today off to remember all the many blessings in my life. Your prompt today is simply “Gratitude.”

Photo by juliejordanscott