gratitude - gratitude 3

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is
like wrapping a present and not giving it.

William Arthur Ward


(Some people) have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.

A.H. Maslow

Most religion is based on gratitude.  Our feelings of thankfulness for all that we have and the opportunity to live on this beautiful planet are a driving force in our lives, and our lives become something less when we start to take things for granted and not feel thankful any longer.  We lose the ability to see and recognize beauty when we're not thankful for it, and we lose the ability to enjoy music when we don't feel gratitude for the fact that it exists.

tom walsh

I remember those happy days and often wish I could speak into the ears of the dead the gratitude which was due to them in life and so ill-returned.

Gwyn Thomas

You say grace before meals.  All right.  But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and the pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

G. K. Chesterton
I'm grateful for the opportunity to live on this beautiful and astonishing planet Earth.  In the morning, I wake up with a sense of gratitude.

Earl Nightingale

Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted--
a paved road or a washing machine?  If you concentrate on finding
what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life
will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.

Harold Kushner


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Gratitude is the highest form of acceptance.  Like patience, it is one of
the catalytic agents, one of the alchemist's secrets for turning dross to
gold, hell to heaven, death to life.  Where there is gratitude we get the
teaching.  Where there is resistance we discover only that it keeps us
painfully ignorant.  Of course, if we had enough acceptance to explore
our nonacceptance, if we learned nothing but that resistance
amplified our suffering, we would be eternally grateful.

Stephen Levine
A Year to Live

Gratitude is one of those things that cannot be bought.  It
must be born with people, or else all the obligations in the
world will not create it.  A real sense of a kind thing is a
gift of nature, and never was, nor can be, acquired.

Lord Halifax

The finest test of character is seen in the amount
and power of gratitude we have.

Milo H. Gates


Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace
for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie

If you can't be thankful for what you receive,
be thankful for what you escape.


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



Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude
remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.

Marcus Aurelius

gratitude - gratitude 3

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use
them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.

W.T. Purkiser

One can take one's life and its advantages for granted, but
how much better it is to acknowledge not only those
advantages but one's gratitude for them.

Robert Solomon


Gratitude is a reflection of the right brain.  To be clear, being grateful goes
beyond simple acceptance of reality into the realm of being thankful for it.
For instance, if the right brain could speak, rather than saying “I accept the
fact that it is raining,” it might say, “I am so glad that it is raining.”  Research
has determined there is greater activity in the right brain when subjects
experienced the sensations of gratitude, and another study found that
subjects who were more grateful actually had more gray matter
in certain parts of the right brain.

Chris Niebauer
No Self, No Problem


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There is something quite powerful and life-giving in the act of giving
thanks.  It is a lot like recharging a battery.  As you open your mind
and let your heart sing for joy, you can receive a recharging of
spiritual energy in your mind, body, spirit, and activities of your daily
life.  There is no greater tonic and perhaps no more potent tonic for
our spirit than gratitude.  When we are grateful for the blessings we
already have, our very attitude of gratitude attracts extra good to
us.  Thanksgiving is like a powerful magnet that can draw us
to friends, love, peace, joy, health, and material good.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid,
but which none have a right to expect.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau


Those who receive a benefit with gratitude repay the first
installment on their debt.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca


There is no quality I would rather have, and be thought to have,
than gratitude.  For it is not only the greatest virtue,
but is the mother of all the rest.

Marcus Tillius Cicero


When something does not insist on being noticed,
when we aren't grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull
by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very
things that most deserve our gratitude.

Cynthia Ozick



The more I focused on lack and on what I couldn’t have, the more depressed I became.  The more depressed I became, the more I focused on lack.  My soul whispered that what I really yearned for was not financial security but financial serenity.  I was still—quiet enough to listen.  At that moment I acknowledged the deep longing in my heart.  What I hungered for was an inner peace that the world could not take away.  I asked for help and committed to following wheresoever Spirit would lead me.  For the first time in my life I discarded my five-year goals and became a seeker, a pilgrim, a sojourner.
     When I surrendered my desire for security and sought serenity instead, I looked at my life with open eyes.  I saw that I had much for which to be grateful.  I felt humbled by my riches and regretted that I took for granted the abundance that already existed in my life.  How could I expect more from the universe when I didn’t appreciate what I already had?

Sarah Ban Breathnach



Be grateful for yourself. . . be thankful.

William Saroyan


Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart.



Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important
to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every
level.  We need to literally “count our blessings,” give thanks for them,
allow ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the
experience of prosperity we already have.

Shakti Gawain


Be grateful simply for being alive.  When you are grateful for life,
pure and simple, your life becomes one you can be grateful for.
That may strike you as circular or even backward logic, but your
attitude really does have an effect on how things work out.
When you can’t change your life any other way, you can still
change your attitude.  When you do, your life changes.  You find
more chances to love, and you will be surprised to see how much
more love is returned to you.
   The next time someone says, “It’s a lovely day,” try saying,
“Yes, it is.”  Today is always the best day of your life.

Bernie Siegel


Gratitude is the heart of our religion.  We pray on rising in the morning
for a new day, for the beauty of the gift of life.  We have regular
prayer meetings, sweat lodges—we call them the little brother—and
Sun Dances, the big brother.  The whole adds up to a cycle of praise.
What else should human beings be if not praising beings?

Tom Yellow Tail


Gratefulness brings joy to my life.  How could I feel joy in what
I take for granted?  So I stop taking for granted, and there is not end
to the surprises I find.  A grateful attitude is a creative one, because,
in the final analysis, opportunity is the gift within the gift of every moment--
the opportunity to see and hear and smell and touch and taste with pleasure.

David Steindl-Rast



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gratitude - gratitude 3

In my work, when I am able to make a difference to someone, catch a glimpse
of a person's soul, or hear a dream and sense how profound the human psyche
is, I feel privileged to be in this moment.  And when I narrowly escape being in
an accident or have some sense of a close call, I literally and physically appreciate
being alive and unharmed in this moment.  When I feel this gratitude-for-being,
it is like singing a thank-you and hearing a response in which divinity is present.

Jean Shinoda Bolen
"Grace, Gratitude, and the Sacred Experience"

Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion.  Hope without
thankfulness is lacking in fine perception.  Faith without thankfulness
lacks strength and fortitude.  Every virtue divorced from thankfulness
is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.

John Henry Jowett


Gratitude, where it is hardly manifest in a gesture or smile, is thus
something like a secret restitution, a restoration--a spiritual
present given in return.

Gabriel Marcel

Gratitude is not something monetary; it is sustained, it is enduring.
At its foundation it is "remembering" and not a mere conservation:
it must be regarded as a "wakefulness, as a watchfulness of the soul."

From the spiritual side:

Creative gratitude is an attitude.  It is magnetic and will draw good to you.  It is good therapy, a road to happiness.

Thankfulness is a way of living more fully.  Be thankful for your health and you will have health in more abundance.  Be thankful for the love you receive and it will be increased.  Be thankful for your success and you'll open doors to further achievement.  Be thankful for your friends and more friends will come to you.  Be thankful for beauty and you'll experience it more deeply.

Thankfulness is a way of enhancing relationships.  Expressions of gratitude create in others an eagerness to reciprocate.  When we become more fully aware that our success is due in large measure to the loyalty, helpfulness, and encouragement we have received from others, our desire grows to pass on similar gifts.  Gratitude spurs us on to prove ourselves worthy of what others have done for us.  The spirit of gratitude is a powerful energizer.

Thankfulness is a way of worshiping.  All through the Psalms the emphasis is on thankfulness:  "Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving". . . "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving". . . "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever". . . "I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart."

When Jesus healed the ten lepers only one returned to fall at the feet of the Master and give thanks to God.  With this in mind someone has written that nine were healed, while the one who gave thanks was made whole.  The expression of gratitude made the big difference.

Creative gratitude is a force for harmony and goodwill.  It brings people together in love and understanding.  It is high on the scale of creative qualities to be practiced day in and day out in our moment-to-moment contacts.

Wilferd A. Peterson

When I awaken in the morning, I am thankful for a new day.  I am thankful
for everything that I have materially.  I am thankful for everything that I have
spiritually.  I thank God for allowing me to experience these things, even the
experiences that may not seem so positive, such as developing an illness.  I
may not understand why I have the illness, but I sense that it is there for a
purpose, and so I thank God for it.  I ask him to allow me to expand beyond
my narrow-mindedness and self-centeredness so that I can see the good
that comes from everything.

Betty Eadie

When you consider everything we have is a gift from God,
it's amazing how little gratitude we show.  Giving to others
is such a small way to say thank you.

Charles L. Overby


These are the gifts I ask
Of Thee, Spirit serene:
Strength for the daily task,
Courage to face the road,
Good cheer to help me bear the traveler's load,
And, for the hours of rest that come between,
An inward joy of all things heard and seen.

Henry Van Dyke



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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.