Why Gratitude Makes Us Happier

Speaking to military families at a December 13th Toys for Tots event, First Lady Melania Trump expressed her hope that, “during this holiday season, people will remember it is not about gifts—it is about family, service, and gratitude.” Truth be told, it’s not always easy to feel gratitude this time of year. For many people, … Continued


Why These Kids Chose Gifts for Their Parents (Rather than Themselves)

How do we teach our children that it is better to give than to receive? Some kids already seem to know. In a video produced by UPtv with Metro Atlanta Boys & Girls Clubs—83 percent of whom come from low-income families—interviewers asked kids what they wanted for Christmas and what their parents wanted for Christmas. … Continued


Tim McGraw’s ‘Humble and Kind’ Movement

I’m not especially a fan of country music, although I do respect the genre for being song-oriented, for telling stories about real human emotions, and for featuring performers who can actually play, sing, and write—all of which is too often absent from the sampled beats and profane braggadocio that pass for music and lyrics in … Continued


Peyton Manning’s Humility

The nineteenth century American writer and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, left behind a great quote about being great: “A great man is always willing to be little.” On Monday, March 7th, 2016, the greatest quarterback in National Football League history announced his retirement and did so with class, humor, and a heavy dose of the … Continued

Entertainment, Sports

Is Gratitude Selfish?

As parents tasked with civilizing three very young children, my wife and I make a daily effort to instill in them an abiding sense of gratitude. We consider it a virtue critical to fashioning their character, particularly as 21st century middle-class Americans, who are materially more blessed than probably 99% of all humans who have … Continued


This Thanksgiving, Pass the Gratitude and Hold the Politics

During a recent White House press briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest suggested that gun control would make a great topic of conversation for families gathered for dinner this Thanksgiving: “As people sitting around the Thanksgiving table talking about these issues, as they should and I’m sure they will all across the country, I hope that’s … Continued

Culture, Politics

Enough with the Hashtag Gratitude

Are you ready for it? Not the turkey. Not the Beaujolais. Not the wacky uncle. No, not any of these Thanksgiving traditions. Are you ready for the coming onslaught of hashtag gratitude flooding your newsfeed, your Instagram, your life? Maybe you’ve already noticed it, as the entire month of November has now become an extended … Continued

Celebrities, Culture

J.K. Simmons Wants You to Call Your Mom

Every Oscars broadcast needs some surprises. Otherwise, why would anyone watch? This year, it was J.K. Simmons (who I will always think of as Juno’s dad) who brought the applause-worthy, relatable message. The Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner for Whiplash, Simmons offered refreshing remarks in his acceptance speech this past weekend: After thanking his wife and … Continued


Oliver Sacks, Mortality and Gratitude

Last week in the New York Times, bestselling author Oliver Sacks wrote that he has mere months to live. At 81 and in otherwise robust health, Sacks learned that a cancer which he thought had been eradicated when first diagnosed nine years ago is back with a vengeance and now cannot be halted. The New … Continued


Gary Sinise Turns Gratitude into Service

At Acculturated we like to highlight the good work celebrities do rather than dwell on the usual scandals and misbehavior, and there is arguably no celebrity who currently devotes himself more to good works off-camera than actor Gary Sinise. Gary is familiar to most fans as the disabled vet Lt. Dan Taylor from Forrest Gump … Continued