Gratitude is not an empty obligation. It’s not something you express as a duty. You’re grateful because you want to be, and you let yourself be.
Gratitude is an expression of justice. It’s a way of acknowledging: “I know someone deserves credit for this, and I want to say so aloud”. And: “I want to honor my appreciation through action”.
Gratitude fosters great marriages, family relationships, other personal and business relationships. If someone you love or value never expresses gratitude, you’ll feel taken for granted, or you’ll wonder if they really love or value you in the first place. What a tragedy to really love someone, without their ever really knowing how completely they are loved or appreciated. Funerals or memorial services ought to be redundant, not the first place where appreciation gets expressed.
Gratitude lifts the person who expresses it most of all. It helps the grateful person be more in contact with the positive facts of reality. We live in such a cynical, nasty, hard-edged age. Gratitude is a reminder of what’s good or great about the times in which we live.
Like charity, gratitude begins at home. It matters most in your personal relationships. Life can be over in an instant. Our amazingly prosperous and technically advanced existence will often delude us that this isn’t so. If you really value life and the things associated with it, then allowing yourself to feel gratitude places you in the present — in the now — in a way that fosters your sense of serenity against the often turbulent seas of life.
Express gratitude, but first let yourself FEEL it. The kind of person who feels gratitude is the kind of person who appreciates and loves life.
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