Those of you with iPhones, iPads, and Android phones have long been asking us to create an app. So we were thrilled when our generous friends Toni and Seraina Gunzinger approached us with a gratitude app idea which their son David and his tech-savvy team would design and they would fund.
The idea sprang from a story about an utterly content old woman whose happiness came from her practice of filling her left pocket every morning with beans. Whenever something happened for which she was grateful, she moved a bean to her right pocket. At the end of the day, she would hold each right-pocket bean and remember all the good things that happened to her that day. (You can read the whole story below).
In the app, the beans turned into seeds of gratefulness which you can plant at any given moment, wherever you may be, thanks to modern technology. Little by little — as you notice moments of beauty, record them with photos and words, and share them with friends — you start blossoming within. And before you know it, you enjoy a rich harvest. Your grateful heart overflows, and you feel naturally drawn to share your riches with others.
By kindness of the Gunzingers, this app is being made available free of charge. A donation to help us keep this and our other services thriving will be gratefully accepted.
Br. David has been testing the app along with several others in our core community at A Network for Grateful Living. Here are his thoughts:
As I was testing this App, i noticed with surprise how greatly its use enhances the joy of grateful living. Never would i have thought that an electronic device could accomplish so much. The magic of grateful attention that makes us notice and enjoy the many gifts we tend to take for granted — that magic was familiar to me. But to be able to instantly share it with a friend — that doubles this joy. And you can even triple it by adding a picture to your words.
But the best feature of this App is the opportunity to show your gratitude by truly GIVING thanks. When you harvest flowers from the seeds of gratefulness that you planted, you get an opportunity to express your gratitude quite tangibly by making a donation. Even if you can afford to assign only a small amount to each flower, it does add up. What a surprise to count your grateful moments and to realize how many there are. And what an additional joy to know that your thanks-GIVING will, in turn, sow seeds of gratitude in the hearts of others.
By now, this Gratefulness App has become a most handy tool for my practice of Grateful Living. It reminds me of all the essential elements of gratefulness: attention, sharing, and the surpassing joy of generously passing our blessings on to others.
From Br. David’s iPhone
I’m grateful for:
A thicker and thicker table cloth.
As you can tell, Br. David tested the app in Winter. In keeping with the app’s theme of harvesting flowers, we unveiled the English and German versions the first day of Spring, March 21, 2011. You can download the iPhone/iPad app here or the Android app here. You can also download the app directly on the android phone: search for “grateful” or “dankbar” in the play store.
Once there was a happy, satisfied old woman whom many people envied because of her artistry with life. She never left her house without a handful of dried beans. She did not intend to eat the beans, but rather would keep them in the right pocket of her jacket. Every time she experienced something beautiful – a sunrise, a child’s laughter, a brief encounter, a good meal, some shade in midday heat – she soaked it up, let it delight her heart, and moved a bean from her right pocket to her left one. When an experience was especially nice and even surprising, she would move two or three beans.
In the evening, the old woman sat at home, counting the beans she had moved. As she celebrated the number of left-pocket beans, she brought before her eyes how much beauty had crossed her path on that day. And on evenings when she could count only one bean, that was still a good day – it had been worth living.