I spoke on the topic of gratitude yesterday.
I think it’s one thing to be able to say thankful things. It’s a whole new level when one is able to live a thankful life. I’m still working on it.
“Even if you don’t feel gratitude, it is important to engage in the process of being grateful. Feelings will come later. So I want you to put your gratitude into action – to express your gratitude. William Arthur Ward said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” So here’s my challenge:
1. Think of someone whom you appreciate very much. This is a person whom you respect and one that has had a profound impact on your life. Write down 10 things about this person that you are grateful for. When you are done, take the time to carry the list to the person. Sit down with them and go through the list one by one. Let them hold it. Let them keep it. This will be a profound gift for them.
2. For those of you who would like to deepen the discipline of gratitude in your own life, I invite you to take this challenge one step (be it a BIG step) further. I want you to think of someone whom you have difficulty with. This is a person who has hurt you in the past, someone you don’t like, or someone you might even consider an enemy. I’d like to invite you to do the same thing for them.
Take a piece of paper and write down 10 things about this person that you are grateful for. It may be very difficult. It might be one of the hardest things you’ve done in awhile. When you’re finished (stick with me), find a moment where you can share the list with them. Sit down with them and go through the list one by one. Let them hold it. Let them keep it.
There is a profound difference between these two challenges. Besides the fact that one is much easier than the other, I believe the main difference lies in the outcome. In the first challenge, this act of gratitude will have a much more profound impact on the person you share the list with than yourself. But in the second challenge, you will be the one who receives a profound gift.”
My assumption is that gratitude creates a greater awareness in all of us. It is one of the first steps toward a compassionate heart. I also believe that gratitude helps us on the road to forgiveness.
What do you think?