Regardless of the language, gratitude is universal, and this year we have plenty to be thankful for.
In this sometimes crazy, unpredictable, pressure-cooker world of ours, here’s something to be grateful for: November is National Gratitude Month. No kidding. That’s a whole month devoted to the theme. Of course, Thanksgiving sits right in there, which is an obvious connection, but did you know that the roots of World Gratitude Day date back to 1965, that in 1977 it was formally recognized by the United Nations, in 1998 a new branch of psychology devoted to the study of gratitude was launched (yep, it’s powerful, positive “medicine”), and in 2015, November was proclaimed National Gratitude Month?
At Pearl Paradise, we’re all about gratitude. So much so that we consciously and actively make it a part of our lives daily. And this may sound strange, but we have COVID to thank for this. Let us explain.
Back in early 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, all heck broke loose for, well, everyone. If you’re reading this, you lived through it, and you had your challenges, so we won’t recount ours in detail here except to say that for Jeremy and Hisano Shepherd, it prompted them to take stock of what they valued most: The people they love—their families, their clients and, of course, the staff of Pearl Paradise. As they hunkered down at home trying to figure it all out, Jeremy and Hisano vowed to support team members any way they could, by providing them with food-delivery gift cards, driving to their homes to make sure they had essentials … the list goes on.
“What we found they needed most,” says Hisano, “was human connection. We had always done our daily ‘standup’ meeting, but it now took on new urgency via Zoom. It was no longer just about the day’s business, people began to share their fears and concerns and open up in more vulnerable ways with each other. They became quite close through it all. And then it transitioned into talking about what we were grateful for: That we had our health, our families were OK, we had food, and we had the necessities. It stood out to me that even through challenging times there was always something that we could be grateful for. Acknowledging that, it shifted people’s perspectives and attitudes and even the way they approached work. It became a sharing circle that bonded us through some tumultuous times.”
It was so well-received that when the team did eventually return to the office, everyone wanted to continue the daily gratitude circle. “It’s the first thing we do each morning,” says Hisano. “And it has shifted the way people approach their work day. I had one person tell me recently they actually look forward to Mondays and coming back to work!”
To clients, Hisano is quick to express how much gratitude she has for their continued patronage. “I'm so grateful that people still care about gift-giving, even in the toughest time of their lives or the toughest time in the economy. We were able to survive the past two years because there was still the art of gift-giving, and not just during the holidays, but all year round, people were thinking about others, their loved ones, what to give them, and also to nourish themselves by gifting pearls for themselves as well. I recognize we are not a necessity company. It's not like buying groceries or gas, it's not a dire need. We are a luxury jewelry company. And yet, we were able to survive because people cared about each other enough to share gifts, treat themselves, and take care of each other. I'm very grateful for that.”
It makes sense that they would do that with pearls, she adds. “They are sustainable creations of Mother Nature. They bring softness, gentleness, purity, and peacefulness. They just bring a lot of joy and peace and love. And that pearls come from water, which is so precious for life, makes them even more special. Pearls are a miracle of Mother Earth, and we get to wear them and touch them and experience them. And that's a reminder that we can be more kind to Mother Nature and also to ourselves.”
So as many of us take a little time to gather with family and friends over Thanksgiving and then head into the rest of the holiday season, we wanted to take this moment to express our sincere gratitude to the entire Pearl Paradise community—our clients, staff and the amazing pearl farmers around the world who lovingly and conscientiously assist Mother Nature in the creation of these little orbs of wonder.