A Gratitude Sampler: Thanksgiving 2019

What follows is an excerpt from Vistage Speaker Mardy Grothe’s “Quotes of the Week.” This is a wonderful, inspiration blog that I look forward to every Sunday.   You can subscribe at http://www.drmardy.com/    It is always interesting and enlightening.

It’s Thanksgiving week, so here are a few some great thoughts on Gratitude from his collection…for which I am Grateful!

Dr. Grothe says “As Americans celebrate their annual Thanksgiving holiday this week, it seems appropriate to turn our attention to the topic of gratitude, and its related themes of thankfulness and gratefulness.

Whether viewed as an emotion, a thought, or some combination of the two, there is no doubt that gratitude has been viewed as a virtue for close to three thousand years.  In his 6th B.C. fable “Androcles,” Aesop wrote:   “Gratitude is the sign of noble minds.”

From Aesop’s era to the present day, the twin concepts of gratitude and thankfulness have been associated with “counting your blessings.”  However, a strong case can be made that we should be grateful for everything that has resulted in our growth as human beings, including the suffering we’ve endured.

In 1939, after receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Princeton, Thomas Mann expressed the thought this way:

   “To be grateful for all life’s blessings. . . is the best condition for a happy life.

    A joke, a good meal, a fine spring day, a work of art, a human personality, a voice,

    a glance — but this is not all.  For there is another kind of gratitude. . .

    the feeling that makes us thankful for suffering, for the hard and heavy things of

    life, for the deepening of our natures which perhaps only suffering can bring.”

Carrying the idea even further — and into the paradoxical domain — some believe we should even be grateful for things that have NOT happened to us.  Storm Jameson put it this way in “Journey From the North” (1970):

   “For what I have received may the Lord make me truly thankful.

    And more truly for what I have not received.”

This week, take some to be thankful for EVERYTHING that has made you the person you are today.  To assist you in your reflections, here are a dozen quotations:

   “My wish for you

     Is that you continue

    To let gratitude be the pillow

    Upon which you kneel to

    Say your nightly prayer.”

          Maya Angelou


    “Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions,

    especially when it is deep.”

          Felix Frankfurter


   “One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.”

         E. Lessing


   “Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.”

          Jacques Maritain


   “If the only prayer you say in your entire life

    is ‘Thank You,’ that would suffice.”

          Meister Eckhart


   “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


   “Gratitude is indeed a duty which we are bound to pay,

    but which benefactors cannot exact.”

          Jean-Jacques Rousseau


   “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.

    It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.

    We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”

          Albert Schweitzer


   “Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone who has done a lot for you.”

          Gladys Bronwyn Stern


   “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it

    is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

          William Arthur Ward


Now ask yourself, are you experiencing enough gratitude in your life?

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