OPINION: What is Good About Gratitude?
With Thanksgiving coming up this week, it is worth it to examine what being thankful is all about. Gratitude is another word for being thankful but being grateful is not something we should celebrate only one day of the year.
Gratitude is defined as "the state or quality of being grateful or thankful...thankfulness" by the The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
Several scientific studies have shown that the practice of gratitude regularly leads to a happier life. It makes sense then that one of the main focuses of several religions worldwide has been gratitude, according to Wikipedia.
Whether you will be celebrating on Thursday with family and a feast, working, watching Netflix, or doing anything else, we can all find plenty of reasons to be grateful.
Great thinkers throughout time have had much to say about gratitude. Before a Thanksgiving dinner that many consume while arguing over politics, religion, or hurt feelings, it is worth it to look back at what others have said about gratitude in the past.
"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." Charles Dickens
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." Oprah Winfrey
When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." Willie Nelson
"In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." Marcus Tullius Cicero
"Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty." Doris Day
"Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy." Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
"Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out." John Wooden
"In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day--or to celebrate each special day." Rasheed Ogunlaru
I hope that we all will take some time this week to truly feel grateful for the many things, people, and experiences it is easy to take for granted. Making gratitude a part of everyday life could even keep a smile on your face long past this upcoming Thanksgiving.