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Inspirational Quotes on Gratitude

Updated on October 12, 2012

I often find myself thinking about the word gratitude and what it means to me. It comes at times when I least expect it and when I am least prepared. Frequently, it comes when I am driving; when a land or sky-scape reminds me of my smallness in the big scheme of life. There is nothing wrong with feeling small. In fact, I rather like it. Feeling small keeps me outside myself and seeing the world as this gigantic, majestic wonderland.

After visiting my folks this morning, I had a few errands to run. The last few days have been cool and rainy here so it was good to see the sun this morning. As I rode along with the windows down, the crisp, clean air of Autumn enveloped me and my thoughts turned to seasons. I do so love the changing seasons where I live. As seasons change, so does the pace of life and I find myself experiencing feelings similar to that of a young girl in love for the first time. I'm giddy and emotional, and in love with life. And then, it hit me that had I not experienced those few dark, cold, rainy days this week, I would not have experienced the sensation of pure gratitude for this beautiful Autumn day. Isn't it true of life too? Sometimes we have to experience the challenges or the dark days in order to fully appreciate all the good things about our life.

So, as I ran my errands, I ran through my mental list of the many things I am grateful for in my life. It was quite a list but to give you an idea of simple my thinking is these day.

  • I am grateful for my parents who taught me to love family and friends.
  • I am grateful for my love of sunrises, sunsets, trees, and clouds.
  • I am grateful for my health; although not perfect, I am never in pain.
  • I am grateful for my senses that allow me to experience the softness of grass, the sound of birds, the ability to see a smile, or to enjoy the taste of a rich cup of coffee.
  • I am grateful for the shelter of my home, however modest it is.
  • I am grateful for the pleasure of loving people and animals too.
  • I am grateful for the ability to learn and grow and, for the lessons I have already learned.
  • I am grateful for my ability to adapt to change and to feel frustration when things are too stagnant.
  • I am grateful for feeling safe and secure and for the darkness that brings restful sleep.
  • I am grateful for a mind that is curious and inquisitive.
  • I am grateful for a personality that isn't afraid to ask why?
  • I am grateful for the ability to know the difference between right and wrong and the courage to do the right thing even when it is not popular.

I could go on and on but I think you understand. I have reached the place in life where I am no longer concerned about acquiring things or impressing someone. If life has taught me nothing else, it has taught me that nothing is permanent and that what makes me sad today won't last. Therefore, I do not worry about things I cannot control. I am in a good place and, I am grateful.

Inspirational Quotes on Gratitude

My inspiration comes from many places. It comes from the bravery and strength of friends, the kindness of strangers, the written words of noble laureates. Since I was a young girl I have kept a journal of quotes that have spoken to me. So when I returned home today, I headed for my journal to see what I had collected on the subject of gratitude. I'll share a few with you.

  • "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." - Melody Beatie

  • “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” - Maya Angelou

  • “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” - Meister Eckhart

  • “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” - William Arthur Ward

  • "Gratitude is medicine for a heart devastated by tragedy. If you can only be thankful for the blue sky, then do so.” - Richelle E. Goodrich

  • Stop thinking of gratitude as a buy product of your circumstances and start thinking of it as a world view.” - Bryan Robles

  • “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” - Henri-Frederic Amiel

  • “I still miss those I loved who are no longer with me but I find I am grateful for having loved them. The gratitude has finally conquered the loss.” - Rita Mae Brown

  • “When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.” - Chinese Proverb

The Simple Things

The last quote above may be my favorite; not for what it says but for what it suggests. As human beings we tend to claim gratitude as a character trait if we feel grateful for big things that have graced our life but we overlook the small things. I believe that gratitude begins with the simple things and expands to the big things. I don't believe you can be truly grateful for the great new job you got if you are not truly grateful for the opportunity to apply for it. I don't think you can be sincerely grateful for that expensive dinner your boss paid for if you are not grateful for the cow that sacrificed the steak or the wife of the chef who would rather have him at home. I believe we have to look beyond the obvious and find gratitude for the obscure. What I know is that when one is truly grateful for the little things, you will see everything in your life differently.

Perhaps I have not been as diligent as I should have been lately and that is why "gratitude" visited me today. The universe is good at reminding me when I fail to be grateful and will give me a glorious day like today that is so stunning that I cannot avoid gratitude. Thank you for this day, for the people I met. Thank you for the wind and sun, the vehicle that didn't break down and the clerk who smiled as they conducted the sale. Thank you for the farmer who grew the food I will put on my table tonight and for the driver of the truck who carried it across this beautiful nation. Thank you for the lesson!


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