The Weekly Stripe – 17.01.20
Thank you for reading this Weekly Stripe. And thank you for everything you do. This week we’re writing about gratitude. What it is, why it matters, how technology is changing how we thank.
Gratitude is good for you… or is it?
There’s a big positive psychology movement that tells us that being-grateful is good for us. The 2003 Emmons study concluded that “a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits”.
But there’s a backlash, and perhaps people become over-dependent on habits like gratitude-journalling. Frequent efforts at gratitude can make us feel guilty about what we have, or sadden us if we can’t think of anything to be grateful for. This dark-side of gratitude is explored in a good Quartz article here.
Thanking people makes them work harder
Study from Wharton where university fund-raisers worked harder after being thanked. Two reasons given for this: it increased their sense of social-worth and their self-efficacy. Study is 10 years old now, perhaps time to try to replicate it?
New Thankfulness Ritual: “Rhyming Thanks”
Here’s a ritual you can try today at your next meeting or meal. You say thank you to something, and then another person says thank you for (something that rhymes with whatever the first person said). That’s it; and more left-field the better. Like “thank you mashed potato / thank you NATO”. Or “thank you for Stripe / thank you that I can touch-type”. Like it on Facebook.
Wearables to encourage prayer and thankfulness
In October 2019 a connected-rosary wearable device was launched, manufactured by a Chinese OEM and endorsed (blessed) by the Vatican. Available on amazon for £100 and also measures your steps!
Shall we all say thank you to our devices?
Ros Chast is the New Yorker’s best-known cartoonist; and her Thanksgiving cover showed a mom serving thanksgiving dinner to all her devices.