If I had to pick one virtue that I think makes the biggest difference in life, I think it would be gratitude.
Gratitude is the virtue that I seek every day. There are days that I feel it in every sinew and I recognize it because joy accompanies it. In fact, it seems to embody a host of virtues.
Being grateful creates joy effortlessly. We are so much happier when we are celebrating all that we have been blessed with in our lives. It is not that we have something huge that brings on happiness - aka gratitude - it is just that we recognize everything and anything that we know is good in our lives.
I love to get up early and enjoy the morning before I feel obliged to do anything constructive. That alone was enough. Then, my husband bought a Keurig coffee maker for us while visiting a dear friend near Gettysburg who had one in her kitchen, and we still rejoice in its luxury. I find it exciting to have such a machine that lets me select from any number of coffees or teas and have it in my cup in just a moment's time. Not a huge blessing perhaps, but a continuous source of pleasure.
Life is chock full of normal delights like that fancy coffee machine. Why not be conscious of such things? Taking just a moment to rejoice over small delights is habit forming and can create an attitude of gratitude that becomes our modus operandi.
What a difference there is in a life where we acknowledge all we have and are grateful for it.
Gratitude is the virtue that I seek everyday.
There are days when I feel it in every sinew and I
recognize it because joy accompanies it. In fact,
it seems to embody a host of virtues.
It is very easy to be grumpy and dismissive of blessings, even when we are surrounded by them. But the person who is cheerful is ever so much nicer to be around than the grump. I want to be that cheerful person!
At the far end of the gratitude/ingratitude scale is the person who never has enough, who complains about everything. No one wants to be around that person.
Everyone likes to be around the pleasant, grateful person. What joy it is when someone like that simply comes into a room. How easy it is for us to forget such truths.
To those of us who have been long-time Redskins fans, we have been blessed by the optimism of Robin Tull of Tull Financial Group, who I am certain created the team's recent miracle.
Robin thanked his legion of friends for sending birthday wishes on Facebook and dared the most optimistic prediction of all. The Redskins could, he postulated, beat Dallas that Monday night. "It's not impossible," he said simply.
Such an innocent belief. And it came true. Through gratitude.
Maybe we should have a holiday devoted to counting our blessings. We could call it Thanksgiving.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.
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