The most wonderful feeling or expression, and the most significant step on the path to happiness…is the feeling or expression of GRATITUDE.
It may sound naive, but I believe it would be difficult to find someone who isn’t thankful for something. Any and all mercies, gifts, simple and complex pleasures, a sunrise or a sunset, a child’s laugh, a friend’s company, a stranger’s help, a judge’s mercy, a doctor’s cure, a shelter’s meal, forgiveness, love, kindness, excitement of a thrill, a birthday wish, a soothing eulogy, a father’s advice, a mother’s unconditional love, a grandparent’s approving smile, a job, an opportunity, an education, a brother or sister to keep us grounded, a partner to lift us up, a space to share the warmth, shelter from the elements, an open door closing, a closed door opening, a kiss, an accomplishment, a failure, a lesson…myriad things and events constantly present themselves and should be greeted with gratitude.
All miracles big or small should be met with a smile, a sigh and an expression of thanks…no matter how profound or brief. Witnessing evidence of gratitude is not the challenge we face today. As we assemble around tables filled with great food and drink, surrounded by family and friends, dressed in warm, clean clothes and fresh scrubbed faces, being thankful shouldn’t be difficult…the words should flow freely from our lips like the water or wine from bottles that adorn those tables. We are truly and sincerely grateful to be part of this wonderful festival…THANKSGIVING should be a daily celebration.
GRATITUDE should also be expressed always, in every way for those things that are not as neat and tidy. The opportunity is found in the question, can we be grateful without expectation, or without attachment to outcomes? How do we capture and master the expression of this precious gift that we give to ourselves? Can we be thankful in the face of adversity? Can we release our gratitude freely from the grips of pride, greed and selfishness? Those challenges with relationships can be replaced with the opportunity to be or not to be..and to find love. Debilitating challenges of physical or mental issues are met with the gratitude of fighting for another day… being thankful for hope. The challenges we face with issues at work, should be replaced with being thankful we have our current opportunities and the potential to improve our experience. Those quarrels with relatives, our spouse or our partners should be replaced with thankful thoughts of having those relationships to enrich our experiences with wisdom and knowledge. Can we release the anger, disappointment or helplessness we may feel as parents, or as children and be grateful for family and the experiences that show us something about ourselves and take us further down the path? We should be thankful and learn from them.
Across all of our experiences: those we welcome and those we wish we were not embroiled, may we chose the perspective of GRATITUDE to take us through them and to a better experience.
My perspective may be a little Pollyanna for some, but I am grateful for my ability to express these thoughts. They may or may not influence or affect even one person to be more grateful. But if they do, I will have perpetrated a miracle, and the world might be a better place for someone…