Let’s Talk About Gratitude

Gratitude, in the words of Sri Chinmoy of India, is the sweetest thing in a seekers life – in all human life. If there’s gratitude in your heart, then there will be tremendous sweetness in your eyes.

Gratitude, as a word, is coined from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness, depending on the particular context in which it is used.

In this context, gratitude is gratefulness, a sense of appreciation. 

As a matter of fact, it is an ingredient that must be integrated into the character of every respectable person.

Sadly and apparently, gratitude looks commonplace in this contemporary world of ours, where almost every young person wants to be “woke”.

Some of us reserve our gratitude for expensive gifts and packages, and whatever good seems minute, is easily overlooked.  Little do we know that, the postponement of gratitude is the beginning of emotional servitude. This single fact is one of the few causes of depression amidst teenagers, today.

He who fails to appreciate a spoon of rice because he finds it small defers the joy that comes with gratitude to the time he thinks he’ll get a full bowl or two that he wants- which he may never get.

Gratitude is not a function of the bigness of a gift or help, it is a genuine expression of internal joy.

Why don’t you smile and say thank you to the guy that picks up your pen for you when it falls off the desk?

When someone asks you how you are doing, why not learn to tell them, after replying, how much their kind gesture means to you?

As a child of God, when answers are yet to be supplied to your certain requests, why not thank God for the life that you still have?

It is ironical how the things we rarely accord gratitude, are really what matters, truly. Life, peace, good health, relationships, love.

Joy is the subtle therapy that gratitude brings to the one who expresses it. Because, of course, joy is what wheels gratitude.  Any gratitude, expressed otherwise, can easily be looked through as bogus.

So it is less of appreciating who or what helps/ gifts you, and more of bringing joy to your own self, who’s helped. Now, can you see how unhealthy withholding gratitude is?

Reasons abound as to why many people do not show gratitude, and central among these is a sense of entitlement. 

A lot of people feel they are deserving of certain privileges in life, hence, they see no reason to appreciate what they think is rightfully theirs. This viewpoint is not only selfish, but deadly.

The truth is, nobody owes you anything, as far as life is concerned.  A sense of entitlement has resulted in damage to many profitable relationships. People have lost esteemed connections, for lack of appreciation.

Even people, to whom you feel you are naturally entitled – parents, siblings, partners, value your gratitude when they help you with things.  Every human being wants to be appreciated when they do good. 

Expressing or not expressing gratitude for the last good that was done for you, determines the feasibility of the next one. 

This is why, with a sense of entitlement, you keep losing chances for subsequent gifts and privileges, until the link is finally off the scene.

How can I be a person who expresses gratitude? That may be your question, and the answer is not ambiguous. It is by being thoughtful.

Thoughtfulness precede gratefulness.

Unless you have a mind that thinks, you cannot have a heart and mouth that thanks.  Think about the good things in your life, you’ll see a reason or two to be grateful.

Do not shift gratitude to a later time, or for a greater good. Make it a huge part of your personality. Learn to say and mean thank you, every time, every where, to everyone. 

To the security guard at bank, who opens the door for you to walk through, be grateful.
To the ushers at church, be grateful.
To the maid in your home, be grateful.
To the people in your life, be grateful.
To God in whose hand is your life, be grateful.

{Related: Gratitude: A Skill for Happier Living}

How do you intend to be more grateful from this day onward?


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