Let me try to be a bit more clear on the subject of Thankfulness/ Gratitude: “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
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word grateful as “showing an appreciation of kindness.”
This is where the difference lies; being thankful is a feeling, and being grateful is an action.
We should all be thankful but what we need to achieve to be Grateful or to have Gratitude is actively show our appreciation, be actively engaged in helping others. As we sit around a table with good food and friends, we are indeed thankful for those feelings of comfort, friendship and fullness but are we willing to move beyond the perfect table setting, the sumptuous food and comradery into a “... a state of being, where you feel a sense of appreciation that comes from deep within. You are at peace with the world, and appreciate that state of affairs deep within. The feeling of calm these thoughts and emotions bring to mind we find fulfilling.”
When we look at our lives, when we take stock of who we are with a true introspection into our past, our now and wonder about the type of person we wish to be, does it align with the Attitude of Gratitude we are asked to develop?
I know mine does not. It does not always line up and this should cause all of us to rethink our actions, realign our lives and strive to become less combative, less controversial (I know, my blogs are often controversial and to some combative, I’m working on this too.) and more helpful, more soft hearted as we strive to comfort those in need of comfort and reach higher for that goal of gratefulness and Gratitude for all we do have.
The political side of this is much more difficult, especially when taken into context of the current political strife, the divisions of our society and the chaos that is rapidly taking hold of our lives.
I am unable to affect the lives of those who do not agree with me but I can affect my life to accept the desire to move beyond simple thankfulness and exercise my right to show gratitude to those around me.
I still may not agree with what you are or who you are. I may not accept what you're trying to do, or how you're doing it, but I can certainly attempt to show my gratitude by adopting the all important attitude of service by doing my best to not be a part of the problem but instead be an active participant in appreciating life, developing a more acute sense of being, so that my eyes and spirit are open to the beauties of life and the lives around me.
Can you imagine a world that adopted a universal Attitude of Gratitude? Can you imagine the changes that would occur, overnight if we all looked through the lens of compassion rather than the darkened glass of selfishness?
I commit to being more grateful for what I have and will do so by move beyond myself for the benefit of others, will you join me?