Gratitude to whom and why?

A grateful attitude always brings a joyous sense of well-being, but knowing to whom we are grateful and why can make quite a difference. Do we sometimes express thanks for our good like a child who tears open a pretty package and bounds off to play with the toy, without looking at the card enclosed? Of course the child is grateful for the gift, but does he always immediately acknowledge the love of the one who sent it? Or feel the need of himself to return a measure of that love?

Gratitude can have numerous forms of expression, varying in sincerity. Sometimes "thank you" is a way of asking for more. Occasionally gratitude can be quite negative, even cynical, as when we say we are grateful that things are not worse. When we know everything is going well and when we know why, gratitude comes spontaneously; but when misery or lack seems very real, finding a reason for gratitude may take considerable effort. Yet that effort is the beginning of a healing experience. Just a penlight's ray of appreciation will bring hope into focus in the midst of despair.

Keep your thinking above the clouds
November 19, 1984

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