Is gratitude the act of being grateful when you get what you want out of life? Or, is true gratitude perhaps being grateful despite what you get? I looked up the definition of gratitude this morning on the internet, and this is what I found on wilkepedia.com, “Gratitude, thankfulness, or appreciation is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.”
How can you be grateful if what you have been given is not at all what you asked for? According to the definition I found, it looks like first of all gratitude is a positive emotion or attitude. I can’t be grateful unless I act grateful. This is an action that I must carry out. Point well taken, wilkepedia.com!! The other aspect of the definition that struck me was that this positive emotion was backed by an “acknowledgement of a benefit … received or will receive.” Therefore, although the circumstance itself may not have been my wish, I will reap some sort of reward, even if for the life of me I can’t see the greater good right now. To acknowledge this is an act of faith on my part.
Thanksgiving is next week and I am so thankful and grateful for the lives of those around me. I don’t always savor the taste of life’s experiences, as so many lately have tasted quite bitter. But, I guess the old adage is true, that with a little sugar, even the sourest of lemons can make a wonderful glass of lemonade. Life’s sugar is gratitude.
What areas of your life need a little sugar?