Living a Life of Gratitude

“Resist living a life of assumption…Rather live a life of endless gratitude.”

These prophetic words come from one of the wisest elders I know. She did not just proclaim these words, she embodied them. Every occasion I was in her presence she expressed gratitude to those she encountered and for the circumstances in which she found herself. She assumed nothing – she appreciated everything.

Yes, that included the hardships of life that came her way. It was neither silver lining nor Pollyanna gloss but rather a deep appreciation for the learnings from her pain and sorrow, and a hopeful gratitude for the journey of healing. The kind of gratitude expressed by Elie Wiesel in his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize,

I express to you my deepest gratitude.

No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.

We know that every moment is a moment of grace,

every hour an offering;

not to share them would mean to betray them.

Our lives no longer belong to us alone;

they belong to all those who need us desperately.

This is the wisdom my elder shared with me in word and deed, every moment is a moment of gratitude. Gratitude opens our overlooking assumption eyes to experience the grace in each moment.

The healthiest humans, families, communities, organizations I know manifest a spirit of gratitude rather than assumption. It is counter culture in many respects, and takes intentional work to build the gratitude muscle. Yet in time an increased spirit of gratitude can begin to transform your world and the world around you.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. Gratitude can transform what we have into more than enough. Gratitude creates abundance.” William Arthur Ward

Happy Thanksgiving!

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