Friday, December 10, 2010

What if gratitude was a verb?

Last week on World AIDS Day I showed the film A Grandmother’s Tribe at our church, to a room of mostly Jr. High kids and a few adults. It is a story of two grandmothers from Kenya who are preparing for their Christmas celebrations and raising their grandchildren because their own children have died from AIDS. One thread that was woven through the movie, from the grandmothers and the grandchildren, even though they lived in terrible poverty with unbelievable hardship - - - is GRATITUDE. This really struck my CCC teammates, Dion and LJ, and they’ve been talking about it since; how little we Americans understand about how grateful we should be, how often we Americans seem to confuse wants with needs and are disappointed when we don’t have things that are complete luxuries for most people in the world (especially at Christmas).

Since the film’s showing numerous people have asked to borrow my DVD and have expressed that they want their kids to watch it so they will feel more grateful. I should be thrilled with this, more people spreading the word about the injustice and plight of people in Africa. Right? But for some reason this sudden interest in helping people feel more grateful troubled me. Thinking and praying about this unusual response for the past few days, I finally realized what is that is bothering me. GRATITUDE IS JUST A NOUN.