by: L.T. Force, Ph.D.
How many times have you heard the words: “You should be grateful” or “Show a little gratitude” or “Why don’t you make a gratitude-list?” Typically, you hear this advice when you really don’t want to hear this advice. Typically, you are at a point in your life - when things aren’t "in sync" and the last thing you want to hear is someone telling you: "you need a little gratitude in your life”.
What is the origin of the word: “gratitude”?
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness."she expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support" Origin
late Middle English: from Old French, or from medieval Latin gratitudo, from Latin gratus ‘
Where did the word gratitude come from?
The word gratitude comes from the Latin root gratus, meaning “pleasing; welcome; agreeable.” Gratus is also the root of related terms such as grace, gratuity and gratis, all signifying positive moods, actions and ideas. (Google Search, Definition from Oxford Languages)
It sounds like such a pleasant word, “gratitude” doesn’t it? A pleasing word? A word we should all try to build into the rhythm of our life. Makes sense? Yes! Easy to do? Not even close!
Some history. During the week, I jot down some thoughts about the Blog Post I’m going to complete on Sunday. A thought or theme comes to mind - and I begin to structure it - by capturing some notes and writing down some themes of what I would like to present this week. In all of the Blog entries I have completed - as I indicated, the thought comes to mind early in the week - and the outcome: "the ‘finished product" is in-line with my original idea or concept. Not with this Blog Post!
As I was writing about the theme of “Gratitude” - I realized the finished product would be: “greatly influenced” by: "where I was personally” during that part of the week....in fact, where I was during that part of the day....in fact, where I was during that part of the hour....in fact, where I was at that moment in time. Gratitude fluctuates!. And to even think - someone should or could be grateful at all times - is a ridiculous notion and unattainable!
My life - looks like your life. In a simple overview - they are very similar. We engage with other people during the week - some are family, some are friends, some are associates and some we just meet:
“on the path of life”. As far as outcome - some interactions are great, some interactions are good, some interactions are fair, some interactions are neutral and some interactions are toxic. And depending upon where you are, in a particular moment, will influence you and, in fact, anchor you - regarding your perspective on being: “grateful and having gratitude".
But gratitude cannot....and is not a constant companion. To assume that....is truly evidence of not having an understanding of the: "human condition". In fact, I think: “not having gratitude” is just as important as: “striving to have gratitude”. Because when: "you don’t have a sense of gratitude” - it can be a: "launching pad"- to propel you forward into.... and searching for a: “state of gratefulness”....because you know it feels better!
Look, these are difficult times for all of us - as we try to navigate in this world we are living in. On a daily basis, unless you live in a bubble, think about all of the things....news items....radio broadcasts .... bombardment by social media.....etc. forcefully delivering a message of: chaos, increased anxiety and an overarching sense of doom. "Gratitude is not for the "weak of heart" - you need to be strong and resilient to experience a sense of gratitude "- it is a simple - and a powerful gift: “from you...to you"...."to you...from you”....but it takes work and effort to be grateful. No one can make you feel a sense of gratefulness - only you can do that for yourself.....gratitude is an inside job!
Gratitude will take you places - you could only wish you would want to go....places you need to go - as we move forward.
"There will always be the next sunrise".....a beautiful magical event....guaranteed.....we can't stop that from happening....regardless of how ungrateful we are feeling at that moment".
"Everything passes!" Gratitude is worth the effort - it's your own personal sunrise!
So, the initial question: “Gratitude....Really?"
The definitive answer: "Yes, Gratitude....Really?"