“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder
Today, in America, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is an annual holiday set aside after the harvest season to celebrate life, nourishment, and the blessings we possess. It is a day where gratitude is to be intentionally expressed. And I’ve always liked the holiday. But I’ve come to appreciate it even more recently.
Over the past several years of learning to live a new life focused on the things most important to me, I’m surprised how often I have relied upon the action (and attitude) of gratitude to serve me in this journey. It is a theme that continues to resurface over and over again in my mind and in my writings. And as a result, I have begun to recognize the truly life-changing effects of gratitude.
Consider how gratitude…
- breeds contentment.
- helps us overcome selfishness.
- brings attentiveness and intentionality.
- develops generosity.
- helps us focus our resources.
- contributes to making the most of every day.
- redeems us from the empty cycle of comparison.
- impacts how we spend money.
- changes how we are remembered.
- shifts the focus of attention from ourselves to others.
- attracts generous people and faithful friends.
- results in better physical health and mental awareness.
- heightens enjoyment of the good seasons of life.
- and provides strength to make it through the difficult seasons.
- chooses joy.
- opens the door for both simplicity and minimalism.
With an attitude so powerful for life-change and life-improvement, may this day—and the 364 others—be intentionally filled with thanksgiving. Because I have been learning more and more each day that gratitude matters.