gratefulness, thankfulness, thanks, appreciation
Since it’s just the day before Thanksgiving, let’s have a little discussion about gratitude. As you can see from the definition above, it means to acknowledge that one is appreciative and thankful. As I go through my days at work and away from work, I see that it is sometimes difficult for people to be grateful for something or someone. I think it may be that people understand “gratitude” to mean to be indebted to someone else, or to admit that possibly they were helped by someone else.
And…enter the ego. “I don’t owe anyone anything.” I hear that a lot. “I don’t owe you anything. I don’t want your help. I don’t need anyone.”
Actually, when we are at that point in our lives, it is just the opposite. When we are to the point of thinking that it’s us against the world, we are badly in need of help. Being grateful for what we have, who we are, and for our lives as they are, gives us a reason to be happy. It gives us a reason to find the good in everyone and everything.
Being grateful doesn’t start and end with a gift or event. It’s not just about sending the thank you card after getting a birthday present or theater tickets. It’s about being grateful for everything – EVERYTHING – in our lives, from waking up to a new morning to a smile on someone’s face to the possibility of seeing a friend. The sunrise. A fresh breeze on a warm day. The sound of leaves rustling as they are caught on the wind. Life. What a gift! Probably the single greatest gift we have all been given is the gift of life.
I often hear how boring life is and how tired someone is of “all this.” What if we didn’t have “all this?” “Why do we have to eat what we grew in the garden? Why can’t we go out to eat instead of eating at home.” Let’s just have a little peek at what we can be grateful for in those few sentences.
1. We have something to eat. A basic need met.
2. We have a garden. We can choose what we want to grow and derive satisfaction from having succeeded in growing it.
3. We have a home. We are not homeless or spending our nights on the street.
4. We have WE. We are not alone and we care about one another.
When we have, we don’t really give a thought to the millions of people around the world who have not. I don’t think many of us give much thought to how very much we have.
Let’s be grateful, and give thanks for what we have and for having received the gift of life. Let’s be grateful for having someone who loves us. Let’s give thanks for having breath, sunshine, shelter, clothing, love, and purpose. The birthday present? And the movie tickets? Of course! And let’s send a thank you note!!!