gratitude 2 - gratitude 3

Gratitude is the sign
of noble souls.



Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie

We can be thankful to a friend for a few acres or a little money; and yet for the freedom and command of the whole earth, and for the great benefits of our being, our life, health, and reason, we look upon ourselves as under no obligation.

Marcus Annaeus Seneca

Sometimes we forget to be grateful until we survive a trauma.  For example, after having the flu when you ache all over, throw up for hours, and have little people pounding in your head with hammers, it is sheer bliss just to eat a piece of toast, walk outside without getting dizzy, and breathe fresh air.  Part of the journey toward joy involves not waiting around for trouble, but being continuously aware of our blessings.

Charlotte Davis Kasl


Blessings we enjoy daily, and for most of them, because they be so common, we forget to pay our praises. But let not us, because it is a sacrifice so pleasing to Him who still protects us, and gives us flowers and showers and meat and content.

Izaak Walton


I move through my day-to-day life with a sense of appreciation and gratitude
that comes from knowing how fortunate I truly am and how unearned all
that I am thankful for really is.  To have this perspective in my everyday
consciousness is in itself a gift, for it leads to feeling “graced,” or blessed,
each time. . . . Every time I see beauty around me I appreciate what I am
seeing, and simultaneously I have this sense of appreciation—for being
alive to have this particular moment.

Jean Shinoda Bolen


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When you cultivate gratitude, you become a happier, more fulfilled person.
The more you're grateful for, the more blessings will come to you.

Susan Santucci


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.  It is very easy to overestimate the importance of our
own achievements in comparison with what we owe others.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer


I'm trying to develop an attitude that reflects gratitude
for everything.  It's a strange concept, I know, because
what happens when I get sick?  Am I supposed to be thankful
for the sickness?  Well, when I think about it, I can be thankful
that my body's immune system fights off the invading germs
or virus.  I can be thankful for the time I have to recover, and
the people who have spent so much time and energy doing
research and development so that there are medicines that
will help my body.  There was a time when pneumonia was
often fatal, yet in our era we have antibiotics that kill it before
it can kill us.  And there are still some countries where people
don't have ready access to those medicines.  So while I may
not be thankful for the sickness, I can be thankful in sickness.

tom walsh


Our indebtedness . . . is not virtue; our repayment is.
Virtue begins when we dedicate ourselves actively to the job of gratitude.

Ruth Benedict


Whatever we are waiting for--peace of mind, contentment, grace,
the inner awareness of simple abundance--it will surely
come to us, but only when we are ready to receive
it with an open and grateful heart.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Gratitude helps you grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and
laughter into your life and into the lives of those around you.

Eileen Caddy

Love wholeheartedly, be surprised, give thanks and praise--
then you will discover the fullness of your life.

David Steindl-Rast


Let us be grateful to people who make us happy--
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust



  gratitude 2 - gratitude 3   

Gratitude is the heart's memory.

French Proverb


If your gratitude depends on what life gives you or what other people do
for you or to you, you will be disappointed more often than you are grateful.
But you can learn to feel grateful by rethinking your attitude towards life.
First, remember that contentment lies in giving.  If you know that giving
is better than receiving, then you can feel grateful for what you are able
to give others.  This does not mean you ignore your own needs.  You will
decide what to give and how to give it, and then at the end of the day
you will be grateful for having had the chance to give in your own way.
Remember, we all have something to give, and our ability to give is
not related to our finances or physical strength.

Bernie Siegel


A bag of apples, a pot of homemade jam, a scribbled note,
a bunch of golden flowers, a coloured pebble, a box of seedlings,
an empty scent bottle for the children. . . . Who needs
diamonds and van-delivered bouquets?

Pam Brown



A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue,
but the parent of all other virtues.



We who receive a benefit with gratitude repay
the first installment on our debts.

Marcus Annaeus Seneca


The private and personal blessings we enjoy--
the blessings of immunity, safeguard, liberty and integrity--
deserve the thanksgiving of a whole life.

Jeremy Taylor


You have a gift of 86,400 seconds today.
Have you used one of them to say "thank you"?

William A. Ward


Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.

Karl Barth


For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude.

Clarence E. Hodges



Be grateful for what you have, not regretful for what you haven't.



A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things.



I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

G.K. Chesterton



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When awareness of everything you have dawns in you,
how do you feel?  Don't you have an extraordinary abundance
to be thankful for?  Gratitude is being thankful, grateful for
what you have.  With gratitude firmly rooted in your heart,
you are humble and open and receptive and inducing your Benefactor
to shower you with more gifts, physical and spiritual.  And it's more
than gifts!  A grateful heart is a grace-full heart.  A grace-full heart
is one that is open, alive, and growing toward communion with its Benefactor.
   Do you realize that you have been given exactly what you need
just so that you may proceed with the spiritual lessons and growth
that you, you alone, need to master?  Yes, life can be absolutely daunting,
but you can have gratitude when you realize that you have just what you need.
Gratitude is the virtue that shifts our energy in order to facilitate our great
growth to the next levels.  Without the hankering after what we don't have,
we allow ourselves to receive from God just what we need.  Then we have
and use just what we need to, so that we're prepared for greater gifts
and gains inside.

Michael Goddart

Oh, Lord, I thank you for the privilege and gift of living in a world filled
with beauty and excitement and variety.
   I thank you for the gift of loving and being loved, for the friendliness
and understanding and beauty of the animals on the farm and in the forest
and marshes, for the green of the trees, the sound of the waterfall,
the darting beauty of the trout in the brook.
   I thank you for the delights of music and children, of other people's thoughts
and conversation and their books to read by the fireside or in bed
with the rain falling on the roof or the snow blowing past outside the window.

Louis Bromfield


It was inevitable, I suppose, that in the garden I should begin, at long last,
to ask myself what lay behind all this beauty.  When guests were gone and
I had the flowers all to myself, I was so happy that I wondered why
at the same time I was haunted by a sense of emptiness.  It was
as though I wanted to thank somebody, but had nobody to thank;
which is another way of saying that I felt the need for worship.  That is,
perhaps, the kindliest way in which a person may come to his or her God.
There is an interminable literature on the origins of the religious impulse,
but to me it is simpler than that. It is summed up in the image of a person
at sundown, watching the crimson flowering of the sky
and saying--to somebody--"Thank you."

Beverly Nichols


Gratitude consists of a watchful, minute attention to the particulars of our state,
and to the multitudes of God's gifts, taken one by one.  It fills us with
a consciousness that God loves and cares for us, even to the least event
and smallest need of life.  It is a blessed thought that from our childhood
God has been laying his fatherly hands upon us, and always in benediction,
and that even the strokes of his hands are blessings,
and among the chiefest we have ever received.

Henry Edward Manning

Thou that has given so much to me, Give one thing more--a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleases me, As if Thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be Thy praise.

George Herbert


The art of thanksgiving is thanksliving.  It is gratitude in action.  It is applying
Albert Schweitzer's philosophy: "In gratitude for your own good fortune you
must render in return some sacrifice of your life for other life."
It is thanking God for the gift of life by living it triumphantly.
It is thanking God for your talents and abilities by accepting them
as obligations to be invested for the common good.
It is thanking God for all that men and women have done for you
by doing things for others.
It is thanking God for opportunities by accepting them
as a challenge to achievement.
It is thanking God for happiness by striving to make others happy.
It is thanking God for beauty by helping to make the world more beautiful.
It is thanking God for inspiration by trying to be an inspiration for others.
It is thanking God for health and strength by the care
and reverence you show your body.
It is thanking God for the creative ideas that enrich life by adding
your own creative contributions to human progress.
It is thanking God for each new day by living it to the fullest.
It is thanking God by giving hands, arms, legs, and voice to your thankful spirit.
It is adding to your prayers of thanksgiving, acts of thanksliving.

Wilferd A. Peterson


Some people always sigh in thanking God.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


There is no closer bond than the one that gratefulness celebrates, the
bond between giver and thanksgiver.  Everything is a gift.  Grateful
living is a celebration of the universal give-and-take of life, a limitless yes
to belonging.  Can our world survive without gratefulness?  Whatever the
answer, one thing is certain:  to say an unconditional yes to the mutual
belonging of all beings will make this a more joyful world.  This is the
reason why Yes is my favorite synonym for God.

David Steindl-Rast

gratitude 2 - gratitude 3


We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.  We return
thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.  We return
thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters, the beans and squashes,
which give us life.  We return thanks to the bushes and trees, which provide
us with fruit.  We return thanks to the wind, which, moving the air, has
banished diseases.  We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have
given to us their light when the sun was gone.  We return thanks to our
grandfather He-No, that he has protected his grandchildren from witches
and reptiles, and has given to us his rain.  We return thanks to the sun, that
he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.  Lastly, we return thanks
to the Great Spirit, in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all
things for the good of his children.

Iroquois Prayer

A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most complete prayer.

Gotthold Lessing


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Gratitude is the state of mind of thankfulness.  As it is cultivated, we
experience an increase in our "sympathetic joy," our happiness at another's
happiness.  Just as in the cultivation of compassion, we may feel the pain of
others, so we may begin to feel their joy as well.  And it doesn't stop there.
We begin to feel a growing sense of gratitude for whatever happiness,
great or small, that comes to those around us.  Practicing gratitude increases
our appreciation for life.  It brings balance to those parts of the self that
have cultivated attachment to our suffering, causing us to feel victimized
by life, making God's imagined dial tone all too appealing.

Stephen Levine
A Year to Live

When I think back upon my early days I am stirred by the thought of the number
of people whom I have to thank for what they gave me or for what they were to
me.  At the same time I am haunted by an oppressive consciousness of the little
gratitude I really showed them while I was young.  How many of them have said
farewell to life without my having made clear to them what it meant to me to
receive from them so much kindness or so much care!  Many a time have I,
with a feeling of shame, said quietly to myself over a grave the words which
my mouth ought to have spoken to the departed, while they were still in the flesh.

Albert Schweitzer



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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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