Every year we are lucky to celebrate Thanksgiving. All over the world in some form or another, we celebrate a day of thanks. In China, it’s called the August Moon Festival. In Vietnam, it’s Tet Trung Thu, the Jews call it Succoth, Africa has Kwanzaa, in India it’s Pongal. There are many more countries with celebrations of thanksgiving.
Research reveals that gratitude and thankfulness improve our health. We sleep better, enhance our empathy and reduce aggression, improve psychological and physical health. Remembering to be thankful even opens the door to other relationships.
Such a seemingly small virtue has such a great effect on ourselves and others. I don’t think it’s possible to be depressed and thankful at the same time. This ideal really raises our spirits and helps us to be happy.
It was President Thomas Monson from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) who said this: “A grateful heart then comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives.”
The “attitude of gratitude” helps us remember. We should be thankful for our safety and our happiness. We should be thankful for our life on earth. We should remember to be grateful.
It was Alfred North Whitehead, an English Mathematician, and philosopher who said: “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” We are all dependent upon each other for successes in our careers, hobbies, and pursuits. How ungrateful we would be if we didn’t truly feel thankful for those people who have helped us get to where we are today. We are social people and each touch the life of another. We should be thankful for those people.
That reminds me of our veterans and all those who help us keep our country free. This past weekend we had the opportunity to honor those veterans on their special day and the stories they tell us about their experiences are fascinating.
There is so much to be thankful for in our life. As I post every day in November on my Facebook page, I try to think about every aspect of my life which has blessed me. Besides my family and friends, good health and the abundance of food, there are the modern conveniences we enjoy that some were not even invented 30 years ago. Amazing to think about our society’s advancements. I read somewhere that, “A good life is when you smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are for what you have.”
Here are some more reminders from others who remember to be thankful:
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
William Arthur Ward
“We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.” Neal A. Maxwell
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
….and my personal favorite:
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” A.A. Milne
Life is not always perfect, but remembering during this season of thankfulness, helps us to keep what is important in perspective.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.