One Sunday afternoon in November, we were celebrating my youngest son’s 8th birthday at a local yogurt shop that has a party room. We had invited multiple friends and family to help celebrate with us. I watched in horror as my son preceded to open his gifts one by one and slammed them down on the table as if they didn’t mean anything to him. His total lack of appreciation was very disturbing. Was it the age or had I raised him to be a spoiled youth? At that moment, my wife and I realized that we hadn’t taught him anything about gratitude or being appreciative of what he receives. I was raised in a family with limited means and was taught to be thankful for everything that we received. Saying thank you and expressing joy when we received a gift even if we didn’t like the gift was instilled in me at an early age.
Our culture today is one that is consumer driven. We are never satisfied and enough is never enough. We are constantly exposed to a society that glamourizes excess. Daily, we are influenced by television ads, billboards, sales ads, and internet advertising that encourages us to constantly buy more. We are never satisfied with what we presently have and rarely stop to count our blessings for the things that we do have. It is not only material things but also the things or people in our lives. We should be thankful for our good health, our family, our friends, our jobs, and our faith in God.
Ways to develop our attitude of gratitude.
- Share with friends and family. Share your good fortune with your family. Be grateful for their role that they play in your life and let them know that.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Sometimes we forget to be thankful for what we have. Make yourself accountable and write down something daily that you are grateful for.
- Say thank you often. People like to be thanked for doing things for people. But be genuine and don’t just say thank you for the sake of doing it.
- Change how you express your gratitude. Express your gratitude by doing for others but don’t expect anything in return for your actions.
A thankful heart is the greatest virtue. – Cicero
Benefits of a grateful life.
- One benefit is the effect gratitude has on your health. Studies have shown that you will have a better quality night’s sleep and reduced blood pressure. Your stress level will also decrease.
- Emotionally you will feel happier and more satisfied.
- Socially, people will think better of you. People are drawn to people that have an attitude of gratitude.
- Gratitude will influence your personality for the better. You will develop a more optimist attitude and self esteem.
- It will also have a positive effect on your career. It improves your decision making ability, productivity, and networking. It makes you more confident in your abilities on the job.
When you expect nothing, you can receive everything as a marvelous gift. – Jonathon Lockwood Huie
Being grateful is the key to a better and longer life. A person who expresses their gratitude is a joy to be around and attracts other people. As for my son, when we got home he had to call each one and tell them thank you for the gift. My family didn’t think that he was being ungrateful but I did. GRATITUDE IS THE BEST ATTITUDE!