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“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
What are you grateful for?
The answer to this simple question can unlock the fullness of our lives. It turns what we already have into enough – and more… into a recognition of abundance. On this Sunday we are taking a moment to celebrate World Gratitude Day, which was officially a few days ago. Since 1965, September 21 has been celebrated as a day to appreciate all that we have in our lives, and reflect on the meaning of gratitude.
Even in the darkest and most challenging of times, there is still some light and something to be grateful for. While we can’t always control events adversely affecting our lives and communities, or people across the world, we can make an effort to focus on the positive as often as possible, and express appreciation to those around us.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it,” said author William Arthur Ward. That seems an apt metaphor. More importantly, it got each of us here thinking about what we are thankful for, yet never say so. A lot, it turns out. The more you think about it, the more you realize how rarely we express gratitude for everyday things that go right, that nourish you, that contribute positively people’s lives.
That’s why in recognition of World Gratitude Day, we’d like to start a wave of gratitude… of sharing over the next two weeks what we each appreciate and are thankful for.
So what are YOU feeling grateful about? Share your answer on Facebook and tag a friend! Let’s see if we can generate not just a wave, but tsunami of gratitude for things big and small, consequential and seemingly trivial. Every share gives you and your friend a chance to each win a Burmese Gratitude Candle.
We’ll start. Here are 3 things we are deeply grateful for:
We started this small social enterprise to support women in and from regions of conflict, helping them to build new lives and a brighter future. Turns out they have given us far more in return… we are grateful for their friendship, how our lives have been enriched by their traditions, and the meaningful connection across cultures. (And on the more trivial side, we are grateful for incredible lunches featuring dishes we’ve never heard of – yum!).
Of course, none of this would be possible without partners who embrace fair trade principles and care as much as we do about the good a handmade product can do. From stores like Ten Thousand Villages to organizations like CARE and companies like Univision, we are incredibly grateful that so many people bring their values to work and help ensure that everything they do – even events gifts – are in alignment with those values.
The Little Market, founded by Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla, is one of our favorite partners. Their mission to empower women artisans complements ours, and we simply love working with their team. It’s amazing what kindness can achieve in business relationships… we so often hear about the opposite, the fiercely competitive side of commerce. Yet there are countless examples where businesses are created for the greater good to positively impact people’s lives and the environment. The Little Market is one of those companies, and we are grateful for their partnership.
That we can live in a small town in Western Massachusetts, work out of a beautiful studio in an old mill building, collaborate with women in places like Haiti and Iraq, and purchase handcrafted vessels from artisans in over 20 countries around the world, is amazing. A few years ago we were a couple of people with the silly idea of changing lives through candle-making. Today we’re a few more who are actually making that silly idea happen, one candle at a time.
We also appreciate the international groups that recognize the uniqueness of our mission and model, and have made room for us in their membership. The World Fair Trade Organization and B-Corp, which recognizes Prosperity Candle as a Best for the World enterprise alongside the likes of Warby Parker, are two we are especially grateful to.
Let’s face it, without people like you, businesses that prioritize social good could not exist. Conscious consumers care as much about how a product is made as the design and price. Everyone loves a deal and the convenience of shopping on Amazon. We all care about the world, but we’re also busy and mindful of expenses. So it takes an especially thoughtful individual to take the extra step of “shopping for change” as a friend of ours puts it.
Thank you. Since our beginnings in 2009 – before we were even a real entity – you have followed us, purchased candles made by women artisans, and shared a message of creating a brighter future for all. You have made Prosperity Candle what it is today… still small and unconventional, but sustainable and contributing to a better world.
We pour every candle by hand one at a time, usually the day it’s ordered so we can make exactly what a customer asks for. That much care doesn’t lend itself to mass production – everything we do is as “small batch” as it gets – and is only possible when people recognize the value in this. We are incredibly grateful that so many do.
Finally, we are grateful to our families, friends and mentors who have given us such unconditional support and understanding. We couldn’t even begin to count the ways you have helped make Prosperity Candle possible. Thank you so very, very much.
Now it’s your turn! Click here to express your gratitude and for a chance to win a Burmese Gratitude Candle for yourself and a friend. Winners will be randomly selected on October 15, 2016. Good luck!
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