Gratitude: Sustaining Hope in the Midst of Turmoil


By Allison Zmuda, Art Costa, and Bena Kallick


In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized through it all, that in the midst of winter,
I found there was within me, an invincible summer;
And that makes me happy.
For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger –
Something better, pushing right back.

Albert Camus


In this newsletter, we reflect on what pushes us forward. We are thankful for being able to sustain our hope in the midst of turmoil. We are grateful for the heroic efforts that so many have put into protecting our democracy. Despite the pandemic, learning is taking place with enormous gratitude to the teachers and administrators who are demonstrating their inventiveness every day. As we anticipate Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving, we are finding our ways to link with others to give thanks. And, we are grateful that we live in a country in which we have the opportunity to have our voices heard.

We reached out to a diverse set of contributors to share demonstrations of gratitude. It was remarkable that when we reached out to ask them for their contributions, every single person said “thank you for the opportunity to express gratitude.” The following are their collections to inspire this not only at this particular time of year but engaging in this mindful practice on an ongoing basis.

  • We start off with the contribution from Wendy Barron who clarifies what gratitude is and how we can nurture gratitude as a disposition in our communities.
  • Lauren Wells shares her gratitude for the leadership in the schools and her community in Newark, NJ.
  • Meghan Raftery features a community organization, CROP (which stands for “creating opportunities”), where students work in an immersive restaurant setting to better understand farm to table and give back to community through their cooking.
  • Jennifer Norman applies past knowledge as she recollects the significance of choices she made for which she is grateful (with a tip for some really helpful sneakers!)
  • Imagine taking grateful walks as a family tradition. Join Lisa Parker’s journey of discovering the power of remembering in that way.
  • Listen to how a few Grade Four students in Wakiki Elementary School are grateful for the Habits of Mind.
  • Share your expressions of gratitude by connecting to our Padlet.


With gratitude,

Bena Kallick
Twitter: @benakallick
LinkedIn: Bena Kallick
Art Costa
Allison Zmuda
Twitter: @allison_zmuda
LinkedIn: Allison Zmuda


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