It just seems right that “gratitude” should rhyme with “attitude” since they almost always go hand in hand. They’re like BFFs. Where you find one, the other is almost sure to follow.
Positive gratitude = positive attitude.
Negative gratitude = negative attitude.
Think about it. Think about any person you know who always seems to have a positive attitude. How many times can you remember them finding the “bright side” to a situation that any reasonable person would see as bad? Talk about annoying! Am I right?
I’m just kidding. Actually, being able to find that sometimes-elusive silver lining is an excellent trait to have, and it’s not always easy. Let’s be honest, you may not always be able to find something to be grateful for in every single situation you face. But, you can find something to be grateful for every single day.
For example, if you’re reading this right now, I can think of four different things right off the bat that you can be grateful for.
First of all, you woke up today. That means you have another day to make decisions that will affect your future. Maybe you’re not in the situation you wanted to be in at this stage in your life. Make a decision that will be a step toward changing it. Make a decision that you will not accept this as the end-all and be-all of your life. Simply waking up gives you the ability to make choices.
Next, if you’re looking at these words, you have your eyesight. You have the ability to see all of the beautiful things this world has to offer. The sky, the trees, flowers, your parents or children, that special someone, and thousands of other beautiful sights. All of those things that have been inspiring artists, musicians, poets, and millions of other people for centuries are all around you for you to gaze at and appreciate.
And if you’re reading these words, you have the ability to read. Now you may not think that’s much to be thankful for, and considering what’s in the news sometimes, you may have an argument there. But the simple fact is that there are people, just like you, who for whatever reason, never learned to read. Unless someone reads to them, they’ll never be able to appreciate the great works of literature that have been created over the centuries (no, seeing the movie doesn’t count); they’ll never be able to take advantage of the knowledge available to them through the written word.
Which brings me to the next thing you have to be grateful for…
If you’re reading this online, then you have at your fingertips a greater storehouse of knowledge than NASA did when they sent up the first manned rocket. You have instant access to a wealth of information your grandparents couldn’t have dreamed of! They don’t call the internet the Information Superhighway for nothing! Any subject you can think of is yours for the learning with just a few taps on a keyboard. Just take a moment and consider how much knowledge is available to you, just seconds away. Heck, when I was a kid, I had to look things up in the Encyclopedia Britannica and the World Book Encyclopedia, and let me tell ya, some of those books were heavy to a little kid, and the paper cuts were vicious! Today, just a few clicks on a keyboard and you can get instant access to information on just about any topic you can think of (other than classified information, of course). It’s all right there waiting for you.
These may seem like little things to you, but if you take the time to be grateful for the “little things” like this, you’ll find it becoming easier to be grateful for other things as well. Soon, it will even get easier to find things to be grateful for in the first place.
The Greek poet, Theocritus, said, “While there’s life, there’s hope…” Every breath you take, every beat of your heart, is something to be appreciated. It means you can still make a choice, either about changing the situation you’re in, or changing your perception of it. Yes, sometimes it takes some mental effort, but you can almost always find something to be grateful for, and the more gratitude you can display in your life, the happier you will be. (You can refer back to “A is for Attitude” for the health benefits of being happy.)
One thing I’m grateful for? You. For taking the time to read this. Thank you.
Remember: Positive gratitude = positive attitude.
Be well. Be positive. Be grateful.
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Here are a few books on gratitude to help you get started…
The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life – by Janice Kaplan
The Secret Gratitude Book – by Rhonda Byrne
Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy – by DeMoss and Tada
A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life – by John Kralik
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