September 2, 2003

Gratitude: Inspirational Thoughts and Ideas

You must learn to understand the secret of gratitude. It is more than just so-called virtue. It is revealed to you as a mysterious law of existence. In obedience to it we have to fulfill our destiny.
-Albert Schweitzer

An alert human infant, at about one month of age begins to build a vocabulary making sense of the chaos of sound that bombards the senses. . . Eventually the rudiments of words come; often "Mama," "Dada," and "Me," and the all-purpose "No!" An unqualified "Yes" is a harder sell, to both children and adults. To say "yes" is to make a leap of faith, to risk oneself in a new and often scary relationship. Not being quite sure of what we are doing or where it will lead us, we try on assent, we commit ourselves to affirmation. With luck, we find our efforts are rewarded. The vocabulary of faith begins.
-Kathleen Norris

We grow in love when we grow in gratefulness. And we grown in gratefulness when we grow in love. Here is the link between the two: thanksgiving pivots on our willingness to go beyond our independence and to accept the give-and-take between giver and thanksgiver. But the "yes" which acknowledges our interdependence is the very "yes" to belonging, the "yes" of love. Every time we say a simple "thank you," and mean it, we practice that inner gesture of "yes." And the more we practice it the easier it becomes.
-Brother David Steindl Rast

One of the simplest and most rewarding ways to live this "yes," is to say "thank you" more often. In the old adage of the glass "half empty" or "half full" we see that our perspective is everything. My mind's natural default is to look for "da fault" in everything. The opposing muscle, which needs strengthening, is to look for what I am receiving in any given moment, and, seeing these gifts and services, to express thanks.
-Patricia Ryan Madson

Expressing gratitude is transformative, just as transformative as expressing complaint. Imagine an experiment involving two people. One is asked to spend ten minutes each morning and evening expressing gratitude (there is always something to be grateful for), while the other is asked to spend the same amount of time practicing complaining (there is, after all, always something to complain about). One of the subjects is saying things like, "I hate my job. I can't stand this apartment. Why can't I make enough money? My spouse doesn't get along with me. That dog next door never stops barking and I just can't stand this neighborhood." The other is saying things like, "I'm really grateful for the opportunity to work; there are so many people these days who can't even find a job. And I'm sure grateful for my health. What a gorgeous day; I really like this fall breeze." They do this experiment for a year. Guaranteed, at the end of that year the person practicing complaining will have deeply reaffirmed all his negative "stuff" rather than having let it go, while the one practicing gratitude will be a very grateful person. . . Expressing gratitude can, indeed, change our way of seeing ourselves and the world.
-Roshi John Daido Loori

Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted--a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.
-Rabbi Harold Kushner

Posted on September 2, 2003 6:50 PM
Comments

I listened to Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture", and got a strong lesson on how to remain Grateful in the face of diversity. It takes courage and brutal honesty. Cindy

Posted by: Cindy on February 14, 2009 6:02 PM

I WOULD APPRECIATE TO READ YOUR POEM GRATEFUL SINCE I AM FRAUGHT WITH MANY HARDSHIPS AND BY READING YOUR ARTICLE BEING RETIRED IT GAVE ME A LOT OF INSIGHT THAT DESPITE MY HARDSHIPS THERE IS ALOT TO THANK G-D FOR AND I WAS REALLY INSPIRED BY YOUR WORDS THEREFORE I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOUR POEM OF BEING GRATEFUL.PLEASE E-MAIL ME AT FR0989@AOL.COM.
THANK YOU,FRIEDA WEISS

Posted by: FRIEDA WEISS on February 16, 2005 12:01 AM

As a Family Physician, Retired, I frequently reflect on all of the "things" for which I am grateful. I realize how truly blessed I have been in my life and I am grateful. I know that these blessings come from God who has showered me in my lifetime with much, including life itself.I am 80 years old and each day I thank God for another day in which to enjoy His gifts the greaatest of which is, yes, another day. I am blessed and I am truly grateful. I have written a poem entitled "Grateful" which I would share if you would ask. Thank you for your wonderful message.

Posted by: Dr. Raymond Lindeman on November 6, 2004 2:34 PM

Thank you for an inspiring website. I stumbled upon it while I was looking for a few words to comfort
me at a time of deep sadness after being a victim of selective gratitude, where my role in performing an important task went largly unacknowledged by a superior, while the role of my assistant, important as it was, was highly regarded. I have learnt never to cause similar pain to anyone, for only who feels it knows it. I wish more people could read this website...the shift in fortune tests the reliabilty of friends indeed.

Posted by: Dan on May 31, 2004 9:44 PM

thanks for the website! the articles are great pointers, helpful reminders.

Posted by: vince flammini on December 1, 2003 4:20 PM
Post a comment



Remember personal info?