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Give Thanks!

Gratitude is a positive emotion, which involves a feeling of emotional indebtedness towards another person; often accompanied by a desire to thank them, or to reciprocate for a favour they have done for you. In a religious context, gratitude can also refer to a feeling of indebtedness towards a deity, e.g. God in Christianity.

Psychological research has demonstrated that individuals are more likely to experience gratitude when they receive a favor that is perceived to be (1) valued by the recipient, (2) costly to the benefactor, (3) given by the benefactor with benevolent intentions, and (4) given gratuitously (rather than out of role-based obligations) (e.g., Bar-Tal, Bar-Zohar, Greenberg, & Hermon, 1977; Graham, 1988; Lane & Anderson, 1976; Tesser, Gatewood, & Driver, 1968).

Research has also suggested that feelings of gratitude may be beneficial to subjective emotional well-being (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). In people who are grateful in general, life events have little influence on experienced gratitude (McCullough, Tsang & Emmons, 2004).

Compare with feelings of obligation; appreciation.

Thanksgiving approaches. Ok, for Americans, it’s still a bit way off. But should giving thanks be put off till that one day every year or is it something one does regularly?

Lots of people have a few things to say for gratitude:

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
Melodie Beattie:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Leroy [Satchel] Paige:
[D]on’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
New York Post, October 4, 1959

Marcel Proust:
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Meister Eckhart:
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.
Margaret Cousins:
Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.
John F. Kennedy:
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
and finally,
William James:
The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.

Even God wants to be appreciated as can be seen from the story of the ten lepers in Luke 17:12-19

Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

Sites dedicated to the Gratitude:
Go Gratitude
Gratitude Theory
Thanksgiving Square
Wisdom Quotes
Quotes to live by

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Wednesday, October 4, 2006 Posted by | OpenZone | Leave a comment