While preparing my PhD thesis defence in November this year, I was again and again faced with the conundrum of how to properly say thanks and pay respect to the people that have, in one way or the other, accompanied me on this PhD journey.
As this is simply not humanly possible within the scope of a 30min oral presentation, I decided to outsource this element prior to the defence, and, as an alternative, prepare a reading of the thesis’s acknowledgement section.
This is by far sufficient, and the section has shortcomings as well, but I hope this small intervention draws attention to the need for continuously creating spaces of gratitude as part of our work as researchers. I’ll end with Robin Wall Kimmerer’s words, asking you to dream a little and: ”Imagine raising children in a culture in which gratitude is the first priority.” (Kimmerer 2020:111)
Works cited: Kimmerer, Robin Wall. 2020. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. London: PENGUIN UK.