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Leaving a message of gratitude


Friday, 29th March 2019 at 3:50 pm
Maggie Coggan
While most people are quick to find something to complain about, a crowd-sourced project is aiming to flip the world’s thinking and perspective, by collecting one million online messages of gratitude by the end of 2020.


Friday, 29th March 2019
at 3:50 pm
Maggie Coggan


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Leaving a message of gratitude
Friday, 29th March 2019 at 3:50 pm

While most people are quick to find something to complain about, a crowd-sourced project is aiming to flip the world’s thinking and perspective, by collecting one million online messages of gratitude by the end of 2020.

The project is run through a website, where the public can record a short audio message on something they are grateful for, which is then published alongside a transcript of the message.  

Founder of the Gratitude Project, Jeff Gardner, told Pro Bono News the inspiration for the project came from the American scientist Dr Robert Emmons’ research on the practice of gratitude, which has proven that by expressing the feeling, it can help people overcome feelings of adversity and hardship.

“Bringing gratitude to mind as often as we can remember, really does help make us stronger, more resilient and motivated,” Gardner said.

“The world often celebrates and promotes a kind of bloated sense of self entitlement, and I think by bringing in the practice of gratitude it can help blunt the effects of that.”

He said living in Australia meant he had a lot to be grateful for, but it was often easy to forget.

“I’m grateful and feel very fortunate to be living in a liberal democracy – a peaceful and free society in Australia,” he said.

“It’s easy to take it all for granted, to be hypercritical, and nit-picking and glum, and to forget that we are, living here in Australia, amongst the most fortunate people on earth.”

He said by opening the project up to a global audience, it could broaden cultural understandings and perspectives on the types of things people around the world were grateful for.  

“My hope is that the messages will be created by people with divergent backgrounds from diverse cultures,” Gardner said.

“The purposefully brief messages… provide a glimpse into the lives of others we may not otherwise meet or hear from, and can deliver fresh insights, support an expanded perspective, and extend our engagement beyond our everyday circles of attention.”

The project launched on Monday, and so far has 11 messages of gratitude sent from a range of countries including America, Mexico, Kenya, Ukraine and Australia.   

While Gardner admitted the aim of one million messages by the end of 2020, was a “scary number”, he said through global participation, it was possible.

“I foresee a network of people in countries around the world who are getting behind this, and activating these messages locally.”  

“It’s definitely not something I could do on my own.”

Find the messages of gratitude, or even leave your own, here.


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.


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