According to Harvard Medical School, “The word ‘gratitude’ is derived from the Latin word ‘gratia,’ which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness” and it “is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.”
President Thomas S. Monson spoke of gratitude. In a conference talk, he reminisced about a “popular refrain from the 1940s [that] captured the thought: ‘accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don’t mess with Mr. In-between.’ Good advice then. Good advice now.” Monson also emphasized the hymn “Count Your Many Blessings.”
Students at BYU–Hawaii counted their many blessings during this Thanksgiving season. Libby Templeton, a senior from Washington majoring in social studies education, said, “I am thankful for the opportunity I have to go to school here at BYU–Hawaii.”
She said Elder Holland even reiterated how lucky students are to be at the Church’s Hawaii campus. Elder Holland said at the devotional, “We are one of four church schools where we get to go and integrate our education and the gospel [together] and we get to do it on this beautiful island.”
Dave Kuhnen, a senior from Yuba City, California majoring in biology, also related his gratefulness for educational opportunities. Kuhnen said, “We have certain resources that allow us to be able to further our knowledge in the setting that we’re in. It’s a great opportunity to be here.
“There are certain parts of the world where people are less fortunate than we are, so I consider it a privilege as well as a blessing.” Kuhnen said he is excited for the upcoming holiday. “Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year.”
Kuhnen explained that it is his favorite holiday because of the three Fs: “Food, Family, and Friends.”
Madison Russell, a business management senior with a concentration in human resources from Angola, Indiana, said she is thankful for her free will. “I am getting to decide what I want to do with my life,” she exclaimed. “[I get to be] who I want to become and that empowers me.”
Logan Haws, a hospitality and tourism management sophomore from Marshville, Wisconsin, said, “I am grateful for my family who support me to do what I really want to do in life.”
Haws explained, “I have a lot of older siblings who have done so many different things and for my parents to support my performance aspect of theatre while still getting a business-style degree is very helpful.”
Sam Clayton, a marketing senior from Broomfield, Colorado, said he is grateful for people who laugh at his jokes. One of those who laughs at his jokes is his wife, Esther. Clayton explained, “Humor is a very important part of life and so it’s nice to be able to bring that to people.” Clayton said laughter helps people know if you are genuine friends. “Laughter cannot be faked very easily.”
Clayton also said he is grateful for student discounts offered to students on tight budgets.