|Posted on December 9, 2019 at 8:10 AM|
Do you have a spirit of gratitude?
Novelist Morris West once suggested that when you turn seventy-five years old there should only be three phrases left in your vocabulary: “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” I'm not 75 yet but I think he has a point! There comes a time in our lives when gratitude becomes quite important. We could be smart, healthy, have done many good works, or even be famous, wealthy and remembered for some legacy, but if we are not living in a spirit of gratitude, all of that will mean nothing. We will not be happy, even with all those “things,” nor will we be a source of happiness for others.
There are many virtues out there, but it seems to me that gratitude should be one of the top virtues. If we are grateful for everything we have, love would flow out of our hearts like rushing streams. If we act with a sense of gratitude, we will act in love and not in a self-serving fashion. In a sense, gratitude changes how you live.
Growing in gratitude helps us mature and develop into a secure and loving person. Yet many people don’t think often about gratitude. Sadly, our world is conditioned to expect more and more, and many people fail to pause and be grateful for the many blessings they already have.
I volunteer for an arts organization that is helping our community remember to be grateful. This organization started a community arts project last year called “The Gratitude Wall.” It is a large painting that will contain thousands of gratitudes from the community. People are invited to write down what they are thankful for and their thoughts will be inserted into the artwork. The final art piece will be displayed in the community.
A listing of every gratitude written so far is posted on the organization’s website. Many of the things people are thankful for are ones you would expect to see - like family members, health, friends and the like. But there are also things that most of us take for granted or don’t even think about – like a warm bed, food on the table, a fresh start in life, and surviving a domestic violence situation. As I read through the list, I realize how blessed I am. I think this project is a wonderful way to express gratitude!
What are you thankful for today? I encourage you to take a little time to reflect on what blessings you have received, even if they are small ones, and maybe even write them down. I suspect you will create a huge list – for we all have been blessed in so many ways! Then take a few moments each day to give thanks for those blessings. You may find that your attitude becomes more positive, and maybe you can show a little more love to others because of the blessings you have received!
Have a blessed Monday!
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