I’ve found that I am in love with my origin material.
I love the idea of gratitude and showing some kind of appreciation for what the important people and things in your life do for you. I want my experiments to be the most effective and powerful way of doing this.
I liked the idea of my first experiment, the Humans of New York-like blog that asked people to ponder what they are grateful for. On paper, it had everything I wanted: involved other people, incorporated photography, clearly expressed gratitude. But I felt as though I didn’t have much of a voice through this experiment. I was just a curator, a mode through which other people could express their thoughts.
Experiment 2 feels a lot more promising, like something I would enjoy in the long run. It is a poster campaign where I have designed little images telling people to “be grateful,” or “say thank you.” I have also created an email address (thegratitudeprojectAA@gmail.com) to which participants can submit someone or something that they are grateful for to then have it posted on a social media page or website somewhere. This experiment allows me to express my own creativity, while still being interactive with others.
Looking forward to experiment 3, I know that I have a lot of research in my future. Hard, scientific, empirical research. I am essentially writing a lecture about the correlation between gratitude and happiness in humans. Research is not necessarily my favorite thing to do, but since I am passionate about the subject matter, I think it should be ok. I am looking forward to being able to deliver the final product, once all the hard work and organization is out of the way, and just talk about something that I am really interested in and want to share with other people.
That is what the experience of doing these experiments has been about for me: how am I best going to share the importance and fulfillment that recognition of this special quality of gratitude could add to any individual’s life?