Gratitude and thank-you notes

Is it beneficial to feel grateful for what we have?  I believe it is.  People used to routinely say grace over a meal.  This ritual reminded us that we thank some power beyond ourselves for the food before us.  These days in theUnited States, many people have whatever they want, whenever they want it.  Where, then, is the gratitude for anything?  If we fail to acknowledge our gratitude and our dependence on others, we risk developing an illusory sense of self-sufficiency, or an unwarranted sense of entitlement.

Do your and your children write thank-you notes for gifts?  I hope so, because it’s one of the ways we foster an attitude of gratitude in children.  Even if we don’t like the gift, it’s the opportunity to act with diplomacy.  Learning to acknowledge a gift and express feelings about it is an important life lesson.  It reminds us of our connection with others, that our presence matters to them.

One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer (Minna von Barnheim).

Friendships begin with liking or gratitude (George Eliot).

It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy (anonymous).

Edward Arlington Robinson refers to two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind / we feel for what we take; the larger kind / we feel for what we give.”

 

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