Gratitude is the virtue that makes us aware of our daily blessings and gifts we receive from God and others around us. We can go through life very easily without realizing all our amazing blessings God gives, and all the good we have around us. We also often do not realize what others do, and focus solely on who has disappointed. Scientific studies show the benefits of gratitude include improved relationships, physical and psychological health, self esteem and mental strength. Gratitude and faith nurture and sustain our spirit through not only good times but also adversity. Gratitude protects us from a sense of entitlement, materialism, and a me centered attitude.
As a child, my Dad always preached for us to realize how lucky and blessed we are. As a parent, I want my children to be aware and grateful for all the blessings and gifts they receive each day, and to never feel entitled. When I go to bed at night, I say my prayers first recounting the best parts of my day – a heart felt hug from one of my children, a belly laugh, the blessing of losing myself in a lesson, the opportunity to nurture and encourage a kid’s heart, a morning sunrise, observing the love of families playing together, our seniors modeling humility, humor and perseverance, a smile from my wife, a friend or child opening up and sharing their feelings, and many more. As we grow more mature and grow in faith, we are also thankful for the trials and challenges God gives us – sometimes maybe just to make us aware of how much we have.
Logically, if we take a moment to realize truly all of our blessings, it does not make sense why we slip into grumpiness, irritability, and sadness. Our human nature sometimes defies logic. I catch myself unfortunately too much not realizing what I have and what others do for me daily. Unfortunately it is usually with those closest to us or who do the most for us – our spouses, our most dependable staff members, a loyal friend, etc. I encourage everyone to take a moment at the end of the day and recount the very best parts of your day, recount every thing that everyone did for you, and the blessings God gave you, and thank Him and those around you by your attitude and actions. If you do, you will have better relationships, better physical and psychological health, a stronger self esteem, and a stronger mental fortitude to meet life’s challenges. You will also have and give more joy to those around you.
Giammalva RC Manager