ERMA's desk...: Having an attitude of gratitude

Having an attitude of gratitude is a choice or disposition which sets you apart from the majority of those around you, especially those who usually react negatively to what may be a challenging or disappointing situation. Gratitude is a deep rooted conviction which is not easily persuaded to reflect negativity. Gratitude stands alone and is like a protective third skin that is tucked deep beneath the epidermis and the dermis. The act of gratitude can lift the scales from the eyes of the onlooker and ignite the emotions of those around you to examine themselves. 

Gratitude is the master by which respect can and is earned. An attitude of gratitude can make you appear to be blinded by your simplicity of thoughts and ideas. You have heard the saying “I am a fool for love”. Be a fool for gratitude and let that be your trademark. Not too many will strive to be like you and that is fine. Where there is gratitude there is also humility. With the right attitude, you can paint a picture of hope for yourself, a neighbour, city or an entire country.

One of the benefits of gratitude is when you appeared to be absolved of life’s problems resulting in your relaxed behavior and apparently senseless display of “all is well”. Truth be told, all is not well but a negative or thankless attitude will bring you no joy or hope. Let’s train our minds to give thanks especially when there is no obvious reason to give thanks; however, this allows you to develop your mind and to sharpen your analytical skills. This can only happen when you learn to be content. The lack of contentment brings restlessness and it does not foster gratitude.

In a state of contentment though, you should still continue to strive for more, so you can extend goodwill to others. Recently, I heard a teaching that says you can give and don’t love but it is impossible to love and don’t give. I thought that was a brilliant statement. One of my very best friend uses this phrase, “it is better to be kind than to be right”. Thank you Mrs. S.F. I think this statement is loaded with humility and gratitude. 

Remember, you are in control of your thought processes, so, “it is what you say it is”. Gratitude is like releasing a dove through an open window into an open space and you stand and watch the dove soar to freedom. So with this season of Thanksgiving let us make the most of it. We all have something to give thanks for; so try to spend some time developing and perfecting your art of gratitude. Release gratitude freely and it will come back to serve you well. 

Comparison is the number one enemy of gratitude. Never get trapped by the hook of comparison because comparison will supress your attitude of gratitude. Comparison will take you into a place of longing and classify you as an individual with the, “I need more syndrome”. Comparison is the concept that will ask you to carry oil in a wicker basket and if you get caught in that trap, you will be saturated with sadness and defeated by anger. In contrast, gratitude will lead you to a mountain of solitude where your peace/rest is undisturbed. When you have grasp the truth, and master the heart of thanksgiving, humility will help you not to engage in comparison.

 Why an attitude of gratitude this Thanksgiving? It is a way of life for those who sees the stream in the desert? Gratitude helps us to cope with construction on our highways and still allows us to say, it will be beautiful when it’s finished. It’s the comfort you find in saying, mom made dad’s favorite dish today but she will make my favorite dish on Saturday. Gratitude does not accommodate a list of negativity, instead, gratitude makes the intolerable more tolerable.

A widely recognized Thanksgiving season like the one we celebrate in North America, is a reminder to those of us who still want to do the over and above, which is usually momentary or sporadic. The attitude of gratitude is longitudinal, which serves to change or improve your outlook on life, by giving you a better understand and appreciation for life. It could change your life script, suggest possibilities and give you a worthwhile bon voyage.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Erma Washington       

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