Despite the title, this article is actually not about the comma.
As a matter of fact, this article will have almost nothing to do with grammar. In light of the soul-crushing events that have been happening all around the world, we felt compelled to share something uplifting and edifying.
Whenever we feel discouraged, we turn to our good friend Ethan Sawyer (a.k.a. College Essay Guy) for an inspiring story or a motivational talk. A few minutes later, we always feel reinvigorated with positive energy.
With Ethan’s blessing, we’re sharing the following post from his blog. Read it first, then see our contribution at the end.
I have a bookmark on my browser’s task bar that says “gratitude.” It links to a Google doc with a list of things I’m thankful for. I don’t write in the doc every day and I try not to guilt myself for not doing so, but I do love keeping a gratitude list.
Here are a few reasons why:
Gratitude deepens my connection with my favorite people.
My friend Greg and I sometimes go for walks around my neighborhood and we’ll play this game. I’ll start by saying one thing I’m grateful for. He’ll listen. Then he’ll say one thing he’s grateful for and I’ll listen. Then back to me. Then him. We keep going ’til we feel we’re done. We call these “gratitude walks.” Greg’s a pretty deep dude as it is. But when he talks about what he’s grateful for my heart expands and he’s an even deeper dude. It’s amazing how this practice changes the depth of our listening and my appreciation for him.
Gratitude keeps me present.
It’s amazing. When I feel like my mind is in a million places (which happens at least every day), I sometimes try to think of one thing I’m grateful for. If I can focus my attention on that one thing—the fact that I have hands, or that I can read, or that my grandmother is still alive–it totally changes everything.
Gratitude makes me feel better when I fail.
Each month I devote some time to setting goals. I think about what I’d like to have or do or make in the coming weeks and months. And every once in a while I’ll check in with myself to see how I’m doing: am I achieving my goals? Am I even close? And sometimes, if I’m not as far along as I’d like, I feel bad. But then I try and flip it: I think about what I have accomplished. I think: even if I’ve done something then, well, that’s more than nothing. And that something, even it’s small, is worth a little attention. A little gratitude.
Here are a few things on my gratitude list from tonight:
I’m grateful that I…
1. Have a wife who is amazing and really beautiful inside and out and the best mirror I know.
2. Have comfortable shoes.
3. Have an iPhone with unlimited internet access. Amazing.
4. Am steadily working in a career that I am creating. Two, actually.
5. Get to set my own work hours.
6. Can afford to see really cool art like the opera at Union Station last night.
7. Have good friends I get to laugh with. A lot.
8. Can, thanks to technology, listen to virtually any song I want.
What’s on your gratitude list?
When we first read it, we nodded along to everything Ethan wrote.
Blessed with a considerate fan base that has steadily grown, we’ve been spoiled with thousands of “Thank you” messages written in many different languages. This article will not discuss any of those instances. Instead, we wish to share one reason for which we are grateful.
Anyone who has followed us on Twitter knows that our bio declares, “Gerard Way is our hero.”
The following story of gratitude is about a hero’s willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.
We live in Los Angeles and come across our fair share of celebrities. We do not consider ourselves people who become starstruck.
Correction: Did not.
We have been thinking about updating our avatar, so while deciding on which of our artist friends to ask for mockups and sketches, we had an epiphany: Why not ask Gerard Way, a gifted artist and cartoonist, if he’d be interested and willing to help?
Random, right? Not really. We are familiar with Gerard’s artwork. As mutual followers, we and Gerard had also interacted on Twitter before, so we figured that we had a (slightly) better than 0% chance that he would respond.
This is what we thought would happen after we DMed him:
- Best case scenario: Gerard would politely say no.
- Most likely scenario: We would never hear from him.
- Worst case scenario: He would emphatically tell us to never bother him with unsolicited projects, and then unfollow us.
This is what actually happened.
Shortly after making the request for a simple drawing of eyeglasses (that’s all we asked for), we got this response from Gerard:
Then came this:
It is reasonable to infer that Gerard had spent more than a couple of hours on a project that he easily could have turned down or simply ignored. All we asked for were eyeglasses. What he produced and delivered—for nothing, with no questions asked—was so much more.
In a way, this article is a celebration of Gerard Way’s art and generosity. He is not only a famous rock star but also an award-winning artist and writer.
Secondly, it’s a declaration of what we strive to do through Tumblr, Twitter, Medium, Pinterest, and wherever else you find our work. As we exhorted before, we want our fans and devotees to be helpful, encouraging Grammar Homies, not Grammar Nazis.
Gerard pretty much summed up our mission:
At a time when money seems to drive everything and everyone, Gerard reminded us to be positive and helpful.
Reading his message again has been particularly uplifting, when all corners of the world seem to be bombarded with a hailstorm of anger, hatred, and sadness.
Thanks again, Gerard. We will pay this forward by being as helpful to others as we can.
Readers — whether you’re YUNicorns, Killjoys, VIPs, Whovians, Bronies, or none of the above — let’s all make and share gratitude lists, and let’s not be embarrassed to share them.
Instead of letting anger or sadness consume us, let’s express our gratitude.
Thank you for reading this.