Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gratitude: The Preferred Attitude

"I must be grateful to God and to those members of Alcoholics Anonymous who knew A.A. before me." The Story of Dave B. 

A simple "thank you" can go a long way.  In today's complex society, often people do not practice gratitude as an expression of a positive attitude. Instead, many of us either expect others to extend gestures of kindness and assistance, or more likely, it is not a part of our regular interpersonal practice. 

Gratitude is less about the other. It is about us! When we practice gratitude we benefit from the psychic and spiritual gains of being a grateful person. What are the characteristics of a grateful person? Here are some: 

  • Humility - people who are grateful do not see themselves in a superior position to others. They are rooted in the earth and understand the importance of "give and take" in civil society. 
  • Contentment - Counting your blessings and all the good things present in your life enhances contentment. Conscious awareness of the people and things in your life makes you less focused on future ambitions and material wants. Focusing on your blessings can assist in mood stabilization.
  • Non-Judgmental - Grateful people are less to focus on the flaws of others. Its not easy to have a predisposition of kindness and judge people at the same time.  
  • Less Gossip/Chatter - Gossip often destroys people's character with destructive chatter. Grateful people less often will engage in, or seek out gossip settings. 
  • Encouraging/Optimistic - Being grateful brings into focus all that you should be thankful for and extending your attitude towards others in the form of encouragement and optimism. People like to be around others who are grateful.

Are you grateful? Do you make a conscious effort to express gratitude for all that you have and who you are? Do you incorporate gratitude in your prayer? You may want to contemplate this.

Dr. Bill Heran

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