gratitudeAcknowledging a person and expressing thanks when someone has given you something is a normal and expected pleasantry in life. Restaurant servers appreciate hearing the words thank you after serving your meal. A bus driver may be pleasantly surprised when he stops midblock, seeing a person frantically wave, as he stops his bus in front of them; and they jump on and shower him with thanks. Parents begin to instill gratitude training into the lives of their children beginning as toddlers with teaching them to ask for, and not demand a cookie, and to say thank you after receiving it.

Gratitude is not to be overrated nor taken for granted. Common courtesies are what we expect from others. Daily entries in gratitude journals became popular several years ago, and many adopted the habit of writing daily entries giving thanks for all they have in life. Journal writing has been recommended as a way to heal emotionally. Writing your thoughts and feelings can help you sort out difficult situations or unexpected life events. This may take you in unknown directions, opening old wounds, or making new discoveries about yourself. Armed with new discoveries may bring you surprising results.

In life, take nothing for granted; your health, or that of family members. We lack the power to awaken ourselves each morning. That act lies with a higher power. And yes, that’s definitely something to be grateful for. Your two-year-old finally became potty-trained!! Yes, you certainly are grateful. Your mom celebrated her 94th birthday; add this to your gratitude list. You celebrated your 50th birthday and days later witnessed your problem child accept her college degree. Both priceless for sure and you are filled with gratitude. Not gaining any weight all summer is a reason to be grateful. Stay grateful for the minor and the major occurrences in your life, share your gratitude with others. It will surely improve your outlook on life.

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