Virtue of the Month – Gratitude


Every month, the TCDSB has a virtue of the month. This month’s virtue is gratitude.  Each month, our E-CSLIT meetings will have the same focus.  Below is the opening speech Michael Consul gave us on the importance of gratitude.

So student leaders, if you need a reminder what was said, here it is… and teachers feel free to read, use, or modify for your classrooms.


Everyone raise their right hand… and now pat yourselves on the back.  For some reason you were chosen to be here, to represent your school.  For some reason, someone saw something amazing in you and that person decided, you know what, this person deserves to be here.  This person deserves to be part of E-CSLIT.

And that’s something you should be grateful for, so give yourselves a huge round of applause.

Another thing you should be grateful for is your teachers, so on the count of 3, I want you to give them a massive standing ovation… ready 1, 2, 3

The board’s virtue of the month is gratitude… so every E-CSLIT meeting we will have a focus that is in-line with our board’s monthly virtue.

How many people here would love to win the lottery, raise your hand?

One of my heros, Craig Kielburger once said, by virtue of being born in Canada, we’ve actually  already won the lottery… what lottery you might ask… well, the lottery of life.  Because unlike children born in poverty stricken regions in Africa, India, and The Philippines, here in Canada we should be grateful that we have rights like: free education, free healthcare, free and clean running water.

Us Canadians need to be extremely grateful, but you know what… sometimes we’re not… sometimes we don’t focus on what we should be grateful for.

But we should because, what you focus on expands.

Let me say that again… what we focus on expands.

Now you say it… what we focus on… expands. (Say it 2X)

So what does that mean?  Let me give you a quick example, I call it the Hyundai Elantra effect?

A good friend of mine recently got a Hyundai Elantra, and now when I look out on the road it seems like every fourth car is a Hyundai Elantra.  Whereas before, I didn’t even know what an Elantra was, but now it seems like they are everywhere.

So here’s my question, are there really more Hyundai Elantra’s out there now or am I just noticing more of them? Yeah, I’m just noticing them more.

And that’s what I mean when I say, “What you focus on expands.”

So if that is the case, we should focus on the good things in life, because just like the Hyundai Elantra, we’ll start noticing them more.

In other words we should be grateful for the things we have, and not fret about the things that we don’t have.

It’s about choosing the positive opposite and monitoring what you say.   And how do we do that… well we monitor what we say and the words you use because they often reflect your inner thoughts.  So if you want your life to be positive and happy, then you need to focus on things that promote positivity and happiness… because remember, what you focus on expands.

So help me choose the positive opposite… instead of focusing on the ______ (insert negative word) you should focus on the ________ (insert positive word)
– Bad – Good
– Sad – Happy
– Problem – Solution
– Can’t – Can
– Scarcity – Abundance

And it’s not just about single words, but also phrases we use.
– What do I have to lose – What do I have to gain?
**because, what you focus on expands… you don’t want to focus on losing… you want to focus on gaining
– What’s the worst case scenario – What’s the best case scenario?

And it not just what we say, it’s also about what we write or text.  I just got into texting so you gotta help me out, what do these things mean:
– NP

Now the reason why I bring this up is because people text NP all the time, but that’s a double negative.  So why focus on negatives, when we can choose the positive opposite.  Why not type MP – My Pleasure.  Make it positive.  Our simply text or say, you’re welcome.  It’s all about making everything positive.

So monitor your words because your words reflect your inner thoughts, and your thoughts reflect what you focus on… so if what you focus on expands… then make sure you focus on the positive.  Because what you focus on becomes true and manifest in your life over and over again.

And to wrap it up, how do you do this… well the easiest way to focus on the positive… well it’s to have an attitude of gratitude.

An attitude of what… gratitude.

And that’s why I have this (show rock)… it’s called a gratitude rock.  And I have it in pocket every day.  And I promised myself that every time I touch this rock, I have to think of one thing that I am grateful for in my life.  For example today, when I touch it, I told God that I was grateful that it didn’t rain at Camp Olympia today, because that’s where I just came from.

And when I got here, I was looking for my keys and when I touched my gratitude rock, I thanked God for the safe 3 hour drive back from Huntsville back to the CEC.

It actually has the word AWESOME on it… because if I focus on the awesome things I have and that are happening to me, more awesome things will come into my life.

I touch this gratitude rock at least 2, but sometimes 6 times a day, and you start to realize that wow, I have won the lottery of life, because I have so much to be grateful for.  And then what naturally happens is you develop an attitude of gratitude.

What type of attitude?  An attitude of gratitude.

So in closing, I need you to help me out by answering these questions:

What’s the virtue of the month?

Finish this sentence, “What you focus on… expands

MP stands for… “My pleasure

And you should have an “attitude of gratitude

So thank you, it’s my pleasure to have you all here today, and I am grateful for the fabulous year we are going to share together.

For your copy of the speech click the link: October – Gratitude

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