The possibility to wake up every morning feeling better than the day before is a blessing; the least one can do is be thankful and appreciate life as it is. A lot happens in our lives and at times we do not realize that someone took the trouble to make things possible in our lives. Being thankful should be expressed to the right people the reason being that gratitude is both an acquaintance of humility and integrity.
Taking things or situations for granted is a characteristic of human beings. When we experience certain things we feel like what we are experiencing is the worst thing one can experience. “I wept because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet” – Ancient Persian saying. Someone else is always experiencing something much worse and coping with the situation, what we could do is be grateful and work on improving the experience and be constructive instead of feeling sorry for ourselves.
Appreciating others for who they are through praising them is another form of gratitude. “If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others” – Haim Ginott. This activity will allow your children (could be your friends or anyone you care for) realize that they are good and that they should keep working hard to improve themselves in everything they do. But most importantly they will feel the appreciation which others have for them and their work. “I can live for two months on a good compliment” – Mark Twain.
The following point is for parents and leaders in various aspects of life. The most useful form of improvement is self-improvement, when a child, an employee or a team mate achieves 4/10 from an activity; then the following day they achieve 5/10. The little improvement should be noted and gratitude should be given to the individual, it can be in the form of a pat on the back or an ice cream cone. Such form of physical gratitude goes a long way in improving self-confidence and encouraging good work ethic. It also inspires continuous self-improvement.
Being grateful is difficult but receiving gratitude is much more difficult. I mention this because receiving gratitude with grace is a form of gratitude itself. When someone applauses you with gratefulness you should not be big headed, humility plays an imperative role at this stage. The gratitude should be accepted and a sense of thankfulness should be sent back to the person who is giving the gratitude. “Never hesitate to hold out your hand; never hesitate to accept the outstretched hand of another” – Pope John XXIII.
Great things are achieved with the help from others; support and encouragement are key elements which help individuals achieve great things in life. It is important to acknowledge the people which help us, encourage us and support us through good and difficult times. And it is important to give this gratitude sincerely. Giving gratitude in this form represents the humility which you have towards those who walk with you through your journey. It further represents the integrity you have towards yourself and those people.
Gratitude originates from the heart and then opens our eyes to the splendors of nature and the fruitfulness of friendship most cherished.