Echoes of gratefulness

Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.  – Mother Teresa

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that in order to achieve contentment, one should “cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.” Being grateful is the key to joy.

Wayne Dyer was a good example of this.  His first words every morning were “Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.” It was his way of expressing gratitude for the gift of another day.

When we focus on gratitude each day, we learn to see and become aware of everything we do have.

Expressing our gratitude towards others is also a gift.  It actually strengthens relationships and relationships are the strongest predictors of happiness and coping with stress.It is a recognition that another person has instrumentally helped us and when we share this with each other, we expand our love and happiness.

“There is an old story of a waiter who asked a customer whether he had enjoyed the meal. The guest replied that everything was fine, but it would have been better if they had served more bread. The next day, when the man returned, the waiter doubled the amount of bread, giving him four slices instead of two, but still the man was not happy. The next day, the waiter doubled the bread again, without success.

On the fourth day, the waiter was really determined to make the man happy. And so he took a nine-foot-long (3-m) loaf of bread, cut it in half, and with a smile, served that to the customer. The waiter could scarcely wait for the man’s reaction.

After the meal, the man looked up and said, “Good as always. But I see you’re back to giving only two slices of bread.”

When we focus on what we do have, rather than on what we are lacking, we can shift our thoughts about every situation. Gratefulness encompasses more than thankfulness, it is a full response to a given moment and all it contains.

40 thoughts on “Echoes of gratefulness

  1. I so enjoyed this post Karen. As you say, gratefulness really does expand our relationships and in a beautiful way lubricates life. I try and practice it but tend to forget so easily. Thank you for this timely reminder. Jane and I have just been to the most beautiful park and had a wonderful walk amongst trees and colourful flowers. I’m deeply grateful for that. 🙂

  2. An amazing story about the bread. And yes, let’s focus on what we have. When I do that I know I am blessed.
    I will be on the road for a few weeks with spotty Internet so may not always get to your wonderful posts. Check my blog for my travels through the Pacific NW – my first time wandering there! – for my travels and lotsa photos. I leave early tomorrow.

  3. I love the idea of waking up and saying Thank you Karen, each day brings with it, many opportunities to be grateful. So from now on I will wake and utter these words first. Thank you for another enlightening post my friend.

  4. I remember one day being taken back to work by the young mechanic who had done the service on my car. He questioned me about whether I was happy with his service. When I said ‘yes’ relief came over his face and he went into a long discussion about the effort he put into his work and trying to make customers happy. I felt guilty that I had not shown gratitude without prompting and it made me think how much we overlook those everyday services that are trivial to us, and yet someone else is putting their heart and soul into. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for those people in my life.

  5. Thank you, Karen. I always enjoy visiting, and revisited this post. Such a humorous story, yet it’s such a great example, too, of a rather resolute (or ingrained) habit of fault-and-lack-finding. It can be something of a miracle when we consciously choose to begin shifting that! Reminders are always helpful. 🙂 xoxo Jamie

    1. I agree. I hadn’t read this for awhile Jamie and I too enjoyed the reminder. Being grateful always shifts my energy and always brings me back to this moment. Thankyou 💚😃

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