Staff interview: Simon
Why have you started working with TAP?
With my background in performance and education, I have always been aware of the power of gratitude. When you are on stage gratitude is often the only currency, whether that be as an actor, a singer or as a comedian. You perform a service and the audience responds with gratitude.
It is the same with teaching, especially where I was, in South East Asia, where gratitude is a built in part of the culture. Teachers are revered and gratitude flows publicly from the class as a whole and through individual expressions of gratitude. Gratitude certainly isn't the reason for doing the job, but it is very welcome and validates you, it drives you on to be the best teacher you can be!
Around six years ago my life changed dramatically. I was working in China and I had a dramatic fall from a six story balcony and broke my back in several places. I spent months in a Chinese hospital and then almost a year in a hospital in England.
This put me on the other side of gratitude, I realised how hard these nurses work and how much gratitude means to them, I also realised how, after a lengthy spell in hospital, you are at crisis point and you are only thinking about being discharged and getting home, and it's often only afterwards that you think about the people who worked so hard and played such an important role in your recovery and how much you want to thank them!
So when I was asked to join TAP, I jumped at the chance. It has given me the opportunity to spread positivity through the power of gratitude, to help others to see there is a clear path to show appreciation.
What excites you about TAP?
Across healthcare, social care and education, gratitude has such an important role to play, it makes the workplace more appealing, safer and gives the service users a voice.
TAP creates a platform for expressing gratitude, it allows us to think back on the situations where people have deserved our thanks, and send messages to those people, because gratitude never goes out of date. By spreading positivity through the power of gratitude , we are gradually making the world a better place, where kindness and gratitude are the norm rather than the exception.
What is your main mission in your role?
My mission is to create content, either written or audio, to support the power of gratitude. I think that people are generally grateful for the kindness of others, but often don't even know how to say thanks. so my aim is to help them express gratitude.
With the podcasts, radio shows and articles backing up the power of gratitude with hard facts, sharing the experiences of others and how gratitude is playing a role in modern society, I am trying to spread awareness of TAP and how it can aid everyone in living their best lives, spreading a little light through our lives in such dark times!
Can you share more about your work with schools/ your position/ your typical day, working for TAP?
Each day I reflect on the different aspects of gratitude. It's like Pandora's box, the more I investigate gratitude and all it's benefits, the more exciting and powerful it becomes. I create the 'Gratitude with Attitude' podcast and co-host TAP's weekly ''Cheers Mate' radio show on Cental Coast Radio in Australia. I research and write articles for TAP's website, breaking down the science behind gratitude into everyday, digestible language and am busy creating the content for version 2 of the TAP App. I'm hoping I will be able to use this content to encourage more people to send even more messages of thanks and spend even more time thinking about the power of gratitude and improve our own outlook on life, and improve our community and society as a whole, making the whole world bursting with positivity!
I have found that even reading other people's heartfelt messages of thanks has a beneficial effect on our own mental health and I try to include as many as I can in the podcast and radio shows.
What was the best message of thanks you've ever read?
As a former teacher I am always touched by messages for teachers, who often are overlooked as education is part of our everyday lives. We don't need a crisis to need a teacher, we need them all the time. When a parent invests the time to think about how a teacher has helped their child and sends that teacher a personal message, it warms my heart. Here's a great example:
To: Mrs Kaur, Linden Primary School, Leicester
I'm so thankful to you as a mum who was worried that Aamir had learning difficulties or behavioural issues and how you have handled all situations and given him confidence in his learning. He loves school as he realises that he is understanding concepts now. You have made my day and I hope this puts a smile on your face too. ❤️
Have you sent a message of thanks yourself?
As I constantly seem to need medical attention, nurses appointments, dentist, vascular consultants, SCI consultants etc, I always have the opportunity to say thanks so I'm always using the TAP platform to say thanks, I love giving something back. In fact in 2021 I went Coast to Coast from Liverpool to Skegness on my mobility scooter spreading gratitude across the country!
I love working for TAP and spreading positivity through the power of gratitude, spreading love through the power of gratitude and I'm looking forward to continuing educating and entertaining people on gratitude as we move into the future!