The happiest pair of gloves in the world - RSA

The happiest pair of gloves in the world


  • Climate change
  • Social brain
  • Communities

What a wonderful surprise!

What a wonderful surprise!

I arrived into work this morning to find a mysterious parcel containing...a pair of black thinsulate gloves.


I hadn't ordered them, and I am unlikely to need them for a while, but they nevertheless filled me with joy.

Here is why:

1) They were a token of gratitude from for whom I wrote a blog a few weeks ago in my capacity as a chess grandmaster. I had forgotten all about it. They say swift gratitude is the sweetest, but sometimes belated gratitude is better, because it makes you feel that the value of whatever you are being thanked for is enduring.

2) The gift was part of dothegreenthing's 'glove love' campaign which encourages people to send in single gloves wherever they are found. So many are received that they quickly find pairs. Then they are washed, and sent back out into the world. In my case, one was 'rescued from' Victoria park and the other from London Eye. They were washed and matched by Lebinh, to whom I am grateful.

3) This cycle of action was a series of gift exchanges, and began when Katee Hui of came to give a short lunchtime talk to the RSA. She heard about my chess background and asked me to write a blog about chess being a pleasurable and environmentally friendly activity. After a reminder of two, I gladly did so, and latched on to Earth Hour as the narrative hook.

4) Gratitude is a very powerful emotion. We feel good when we are thanked, but we feel even better when we take time to feel grateful. Of all the meditative practices I have tried, a guided gratitude meditation made the biggest impact...going back from the present moment to thank parents, the widwives who helped bring you in to the world, the people who cared for you when you were helpless, your first teachers, your friends, your doctors...if you keep going on like this you soon find yourself welling up with gratitude...which is a wonderfully affirming experience.

So the next time you see a single glove...think of all the gratitude you have the power to create.


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