Creating A Good Life

I just read an interesting article about a World Gratitude Map and the remarkable woman who inspired it. Here are some snippets:

“…the World Gratitude Map, the idea of giving people the chance to create small moments for themselves to make themselves rich through their own action,” said Jacqueline Lewis, one of the project’s creators. Lewis is a writer with an interest in resilience, otherwise known as bouncing back.

She compares the map to a journaling exercise in which a person writes down three things for which he or she is grateful every day. Over time, she said, this practice shifts a person’s mindset.

“It is moving your mind over to this place where I think we should all be, which is to keep our eyes on all that is good, beautiful and possible in the world,” she said.

The remarkable story of one woman’s life and death refined Lewis’ interest in resilience and inspired the World Gratitude Map.

“I guess the most amazing thing about my mom is she lived a very small life” — she wasn’t famous, never had a great job or money, never made any high-profile accomplishments — “but people loved her,” Lewis said of her mother Joan Zawoiski Lewis, otherwise known as Joannie from Pringle.

Joan Lewis’ life had no shortage of hardship. Her brother was killed in an accident, her sister committed suicide, she nearly died from a massive hemorrhage while giving birth, her husband abused her and her children, and on May 7, 2011, she died of pancreatic cancer.

But it was how her mother died that caught Lewis’ attention. When Joan Lewis was diagnosed, she was told she would have weeks to live.

“My mom says, ‘Oh don’t make a fuss, just do something nice for somebody today and tell them to think of me,'” Lewis said.

Family and friends throughout the world reported doing good deeds in her name…

“While dying, her focus on these good deeds done by others kept her alive with end-stage pancreatic cancer past all reasonable prognosis,” Lewis said. “The [World Gratitude Map] gives the rest of us a chance to move our eyes in the same direction, perhaps derive the same benefit.”

Her mother lived 20 months after her diagnosis.

…Joan Lewis found a way to move her attention “to what is good and beautiful and possible in the world, and away from what is dismal,” Lewis said.

“She just created a good life,” Lewis said.

“Creating a good life.” I like the sound of that.


About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and the beauty of kindness and nature.
This entry was posted in Abundance, Adversity, Attittude, Challenges, Goodness, Gratitude, Kindness, Making the World a Better Place, Vids & Stories That Touched Me and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Creating A Good Life

  1. kristc99 says:

    How interesting, how wonderful. Thanks for posting this! I love the gratitude map.

  2. Professions for PEACE says:

    This is beautiful Russ. Thanks so much for sharing 😀 Hugs, Gina

  3. Pingback: Today Is A Wonderful Life « Professions for PEACE

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