08/01/2012 07:53 EDT | Updated 10/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Why I Practice Gratitude


Small Change Fund is a unique non-profit organization working across Canada to support grassroots environmental and social justice projects that share a connection with the land. We help them access small amounts of funding to make a big difference in their communities. Imagine Canada's last survey of Canadian giving habits reported that only two per cent of Canadian Giving goes to the environment, and of that, only a fraction reaches grassroots groups. That's where Small Change Fund comes in.

First Nations, Metis and Inuit projects often foster the connection between the land and people, and these groups are traditionally underfunded. In a series of blog posts for Small Change Fund, our blogging intern, Brad Stone, who hails from Whitecap Dakota First Nation in Saskatchewan and is of Dakota and Plains Cree ancestry, has been sharing his perspective on life and the environment with us. What follows is a great lesson from Brad on how your attitude to life shapes your outlook on life.

From the moment I wake up in the morning I do my best to remember that this is a gift of life I'm awakening to. I have been taught, and I've learned about, the power of an "attitude of gratitude"as they say. I say a very quick prayer each morning that basically says thank you for this day, and I've come to realize how that helps shape my approach to the day.

There is always something to be thankful for, even when we may think there isn't. Being thankful has helped me to cultivate an attitude which, when continually fostered, has helped my life to be more positively memorable, joyful and meaningful. I've learned that thankfulness helps create positive thoughts, which creates positive emotions, which then creates positive energy.

Supporters of Small Change Fund have played -- and are playing --a role in helping grow awareness of Small Change, in order for it to continue growing, expanding and evolving. And for that I would like to say "Thank You." Without these supporters, there would be no opportunity for me to write these blogs and share what I have learned through my culture as a First Nations person. As a blogger at Small Change Fund, I'm very much appreciative and grateful for the chance to:

1) be a part of a positive organization

2) express myself in this way

3) engage with awesome people like you!

I'm thankful for all the support the public provides to Small Change Fund, non-financial contributions, efforts, donations, and passion, continue to make Small Change Fund's initial vision a reality each day.

Whether you're learning about the organization for the first time today, have been part of a project, a supporter, a funding partner, a donor, an advisor, or someone interested in the work Small Change is doing, or indeed considering submitting your own project; I'm thankful that you are a part of this collective positive energy towards fellow humans and Mother Earth, it's energizing and inspiring. I have always felt that if we encourage and inspire each other rather than critique and judge one another we can create a brighter future for us all. It's like the updraft created from one goose to the other as they fly together in formation, so too is our energy for those around us.

If we lift others up as we climb, then together we will rise.

Wopida Tonka (Dakota), Hiy hiy (Plains Cree), Chi-miigwetch (Ojibway)

Thank you very much.