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At the risk of being a bit corny, I'm going to use today - the holiday of Thanksgiving in the US - to write about what I am thankful for.

This isn't to wave a flag and to offer even more insight into American culture than we already get on a daily basis, but rather, it's to link the holiday to the act of paying attention, one of the key themes of the RSA's Social Brain Centre.

Thanksgiving Card

As we’ve previously blogged, paying attention to the positive aspects in your life can help to build emotional resilience (for a great exercise, see our late colleague Emma’s post about poetry and attention), and Jonathan wrote about the power of gratitude.  So with this in mind, I’d like to declare three things for which I am thankful.

I am thankful that I am lucky enough to work in a field about which I am passionate, trying to learn and understand more about human nature and behaviour, what makes us tick, and how these insights can be applied to some of the many challenges of our time, including climate change and the socioeconomic performance gap in education among others.

I am immensely thankful for my friends and family, both near and far, many of whom will be celebrating today with a roast turkey.

And I am thankful for the great card from Louise, Associate Director of Education, which elicited a laugh and which makes me smile each time I glance at it – see the photo above!


Creating your own gratitude list is easy enough, but if you’d like to share it with others, I’ve just come across the gratitude list website where it looks like you can read what celebrities are thankful for and share your own lists, too.

To those celebrating, wishing you a very happy thanksgiving!


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