Posts Tagged Sir John Templeton

The Virtuous Spiral of Giving and Gratitude

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When Sir John Templeton set out to fulfill his philanthropic vision, he opened the door not only to the science behind giving and gratitude as distinct virtues, but also to the cyclic relationship between the two. “Thanksgiving leads to giving, and to spiritual growth,” he pointedly wrote. This innate connection is examined in a new book, The Giving Way to Happiness, a collection of stories and reflections on giving and gratitude alongside the growing body of science—much of which has been the result of funding from the John Templeton Foundation.

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Spreading the Word on Gratitude

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Artwork by Terri Friedman and her students at the California College for the Arts. Photo courtesy of GGSC.
Artwork by Terri Friedman and her students at the California College for the Arts. Photo courtesy of GGSC.

“There is no greater tonic and perhaps no more potent tonic for our spirit than gratitude,” wrote Sir John Templeton. Millions have recognized that wisdom: when acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg’s TEDx talk on gratitude was posted, it became a viral sensation. “Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude,” he says. “It creates a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard.” The science of gratitude has now built a considerable body of findings which supports such intuitions.

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Discovering the Skill of Forgiveness

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Forgiveness is a seminal religious virtue, but can it be scientifically justified as well? This question is asked by award-winning author Megan Feldman Bettencourt in her new book, Triumph of the Heart: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World. Drawing on innovative research and stories from both individuals and entire communities, Bettencourt concludes that, when observed appropriately, forgiveness can save lives and maybe lead to a better world.

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Jean Vanier Wins 2015 Templeton Prize

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Jean Vanier, 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate (Photo credit: Templeton Prize / John Morrison)
Jean Vanier, 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate (Photo credit: Templeton Prize / John Morrison)

The 2015 Templeton Prize has been awarded to Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, a revolutionary network of communities in which people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers. Vanier embodies the three key qualities celebrated by the award, explained Jennifer Simpson, the granddaughter of Sir John Templeton, when the announcement was made at the British Academy in London on March 11: he is an entrepreneur of the spirit whose accomplishments include insight, discovery, and practical works.

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Young People Discover the Laws of Life

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What are the rules, ideals, and principles that can guide us through a full and joyous life? Over 25 years ago, Sir John Templeton launched the Laws of Life essay contest to encourage young people to reflect on their purpose. Writing from the Heart, published in 2001, captures many of these extraordinary essays in an inspiring compilation that details what young people have learned about life. Today, the competition continues to spark thousands of students to put pen to paper and describe their experiences, their hopes, and their insights.

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Send a Gratitude Gram! New Website Promotes Cycles of Thanks and Giving

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A new website and initiative from the John Templeton Foundation intends to help increase the spiral of gratitude. ElementofGratitude.org aims to put the ancient insight and scientific evidence into practice by demonstrating that gratitude and thankfulness do indeed lead to giving, and vice versa. The goal of the site is to start a chain reaction across the internet, an online manifestation of the gratitude spiral.

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