In these terrible times, we must all remember the good things in our lives. I have been posting 5 things I am grateful for, every day, on Facebook for the past week or so. I think my friends who read my words appreciate them, and I certainly benefit from some time spent in reflection every day, so that I can come up with my 5 things every day.
Gratitude seems like an ‘old’ thing to me. Something akin to valour perhaps. Certainly there is talk of ‘gratitude’ in the Bible, where people are often called on to give thanks to God for all of the good in their lives. My thoughts on this issue are less God-like than that. People are often called in the Bible to be thankful to God, but it doesn’t seem to say as much about being thankful to other people.
I know from lived experience how good it feels to be able to have others do good things for me. I also know how good it feels to actually do good things for other people. This doing of good things, for me at least has nothing to do with God. I find my joy in more mundane things in my life, with the overwhelming good I find in good deeds done by good people, simply because that is the way they feel it should be.
Gratitude is the feeling of being grateful for something. That may be a good deed done, or a visit from a friend. It may also be something as simple as a fine day with sunshine as needed. This one has certainly factored into my list of things I’ve expressed gratitude for in the past week or so. Sunshine suits our family very well, because we have solar panels on our roof. This means sunshine saves us money on our power usage – certainly a thing to be grateful for! I am always grateful for the wondrous things there are in Nature!
The Oxford Dictionary online gives this meaning for the word: “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness: ‘she expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support’” */
I think the final part of this definition is important. That is ‘… readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.’ The returning of kindness is a very important thing. When you return the kindness of others, then the good behaviour is reinforced, and so the kindnesses are likely to be done again. With an epidemic of kind behaviours, and feelings of gratitude, what a fine world we might attain. This is something worth thinking about.