If you were offered a simple way to improve your mental health, tap into happiness, and better your relationships, would you do it? Gratitude is a simple concept inviting people to notice and appreciate the world around them, from sunsets to a child laughing, to a kind gesture. While simple in nature, gratitude relies on our attention and intention as we go through our lives– lives full of tasks, emergencies, responsibilities, and other worthy causes that demand our attention. In his film, Gratitude Revealed, Louie Schwartzberg celebrates beauty and wonder in its infinite forms, “Gratitude is the umbrella that includes feeling connected to something larger than yourself, to having the courage to open your heart and feel compassion…” Savoring a moment and gratitude for each day can make lives happier and more fulfilled. How do you approach gratitude? What impact has it had on your life?
Background Information:This guide was created in partnership with the Gratitude Revealed documentary. You can watch the trailer here.
Let's Get Started!
Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate.
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
- What would your best friend say about who you are?
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
Gratitude (~40 min)
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows..
- Describe a good day.
- What moves you to feel gratitude? What, if anything, gets in the way of you feeling gratitude?
- How do you experience or express gratitude? What impact does it have on you?
- When has gratitude led you toward wonder and compassion? What happened?
- What does gratitude look like each day for you? How does it change or shift?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
- What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
- How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?