Last week I attended a lecture and a workshop about gratitude in teaching, learning and research. Both were facilitated by Dr Kerry Howells from University of Tasmania. At the beginning I was skeptical about the concept of gratitude, especially because it sounded too much close to religion and conformism. Though I’m not fully convinced , it seems interesting enough to explore it.
Howells understands Gratitude as an active expression in which you are awake, you acknowledge what you have and then you give back. This concept can be applied to teaching, learning and research. According to this author,gratitude is the opposite of resentment and it contributes that you foucs on what you can do.
In relation to research, Howells argues that if we thank when we think we will think better. In this way, gratitude frees us from a sense of isolation and opens up an exchange. Gratitude would help us think with greater presence.
Gratitude implies: awareness, giving, reciprocity, interconnectedness,indebtedness, memory, humility and it is opposite of negative complaint. Then, how could gratitude help me do better research? Well, first I guess I have to appreciate what I have, what I have done and then reflect, and prepare myself for research. Open up my mind, thank and think.
I am thankful for being at ANU,for doing my research and for life in Canberra. I am living the second part of my life and I’ll do my best to enjoy it. On Friday I was frustrated because I was not able to write an abstract properly. I was uncertain about the words and form, but also about the content. Is my topic worth of research? is it good enough to be presented in a conference? Do I know enough about this topic? Well, these are the issues that haunt my mind while I write. This is what I need to overcome!