Students kill three birds with one stone by honing their creative-writing skills and practicing gratitude as a learned behavior in cash-prize competition
MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 23, 2015 – Students are honing their creative-writing skills while expressing gratitude to friends, family members, and loved ones in a cash-prize competition on Favorfloat.com, a financial social network headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn
“If a student writes a gratitude message, then he/she is required to vote both for his/her message and for ten other messages written by other students that he/she believe are the most creative. Any member of the general public may log in with his or her email address to select and vote for a gratitude message that they believe is creative. At the end of each quarter, the 100 gratitude messages with the highest votes will automatically be selected for a final round of voting. The 20 messages that receive the most votes will be sent to 21 judges, who will each cast one vote to select the grand winner, who will receive first prize. Second- and third-place prizes will also be awarded, as well as prizes for all finalists,” said Ricky Wunderlich, Contest IT Director.
“I’m 19 and a college student, so the thought of thanking my parents for everything they have done for me—paying for my tuition and all kinds of stuff—has never occurred to me,” said competition contestant Barry Emmanuel, student at North Central Seminary in Minneapolis. “I just thought they are my parents—that’s what they are supposed to do. I felt they were obligated to take care of my needs until I graduated, got a job, and was able to take care of my own needs. But Favorfloat.com changed my mind,” Emmanuel added with a smile. “My parents don’t owe me a thing, and I wrote a gratitude message thanking them for everything they have done for me for the whole world to see. Honestly, I didn’t do it for the prize money. I just felt bad about how selfish I had been, but I hope my gratitude message wins something,” said Barry Emmanuel with two thumbs up.
Philip Jegede, Chairman of Favorfloat Corporation explains, “Like John Amodeo wrote,” ‘No doubt, our parents worked tirelessly to get us to say “thank you” when someone offered a gift or did us a favor. Most likely, they succeeded in getting us to mouth these words. But while we internalized proper etiquette, did we understand the purpose behind uttering thanks? To what extent did we develop an inner sense of feeling and conveying genuine gratitude? Gratitude is a corrective to our sense of entitlement. One aspect of narcissism is the belief that we deserve to get without having to give. We feel that we’re entitled to fulfill our needs without being troubled by perceiving another’s world and responding to others’ needs. Our attention is fully absorbed within a limited and narrow sense of self. The capacity to experience gratitude means that we’re extending attention beyond ourselves to perceive what someone has given us o r done for us. During a moment of gratitude, our eyes open to the existence of the other. Simultaneously, we register how their eyes opened to recognize our existence as separate from their own. They did something positive for us or with us. During that moment, they saw us, appreciated us, cared about us — and perhaps even loved us. Rather than take these precious gifts for granted, gratitude signals an appreciation for their generously extending attention beyond themselves and into our world.’
“Favorfloat is promoting gratitude as a learned behavior, since ungrateful attitudes contribute to narcissistic behavior among youth—a destructive behavior that they carry into adulthood,” said Jegede. Jegede cites a 2004 article from The Journal of Youth and Adolescence Research suggesting that narcissistic features contribute to aggression in adults. “The study examined the association of these features with aggression and internalized symptoms in 233 students to reveal that narcissistic exploitativeness could predict proactive aggression and that narcissistic exhibitionism could predict internalizing symptoms. The study also found that narcissism and self-esteem interacted to predict both aggression and internalized symptoms.”
“The integrity of judge selection and the award will be monitored by an independent certified public accounting firm,” said Jegede. The chairman added that students interested in using Favorfloat to hone their creative-writing skills, express gratitude to those they care about, and/or just take part in a positive environment of gratefulness while standing to win thousands of dollars should visit www.favorfloat.com click on the “Play Gratitude Prize” tab and submit their messages of gratitude to whomever they consider worthy of receiving them.
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