I was helping my nephew with his assignment, when I saw a pensive expression that was far too intense to be just about his school work. I asked, “what’s up with that look?”
With deep sincerity he asked: “why are you helping me ?” And he was not satisfied with “because you’re my nephew” or “because I love you”. He was searching for a deeper motivation. Deeper than love?!
I hadn’t thought about the why. I just knew that I wanted to contribute to his happiness in being able to complete the assignment. But, when he forced me to give him a more deeply ruminative answer my contemplation led me to this realization—I was first and foremost grateful for the opportunity to help him succeed.
This is what I learned from being challenged by my nephew:
Not only can gratitude inspire happiness, it can also inspire the intention to contribute to the happiness of someone else.
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