Develop Attitude of Gratitude through Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is one of the finest occasions that entire US celebrates irrespective of cast, creed, faith, religion or color of people. It is celebrated on fourth Thursday of November every year. It is also celebrated in Canada but on second Monday of October every year.
History of thanksgiving dates back to November 1623, when Governor William Bradford proclaimed thanksgiving to Almighty God for his innumerous blessings during previous year.
And now after almost four hundred years this day is gradually becoming a day for huge meals, turkey dinners, cranberries, pumpkin pie and lots of fun.
There are many people who feel that real meaning of thanksgiving has been lost somewhere amidst celebrations. However, there are number of people who have been enjoying celebrations and at the same time they feel that celebrations can hand in hand with a heart filled of gratitude and thankfulness.
Expressing thankfulness towards Almighty God should be a constant process. When your heart is filled with attitude of gratitude, thanksgiving cannot remain limited to one particular day of a year because one day is not long enough to thank God for all those blessings and gifts of life He has given you and is continuously giving you every moment of every day. Let thankfulness continuously flow from your heart.
With your attitude of gratitude, thankfulness flows for everyone and everything. Isn’t it our prime responsibility to acknowledge countless blessings and obligations of Almighty God? He is continuously showering His innumerous and all forms of wonderful blessings. These acts of thanksgiving towards Almighty God must be undertaken by each and every one of us, every day and everywhere.
There are countless things available to you to be grateful. Starting from your perfect physical and mental body, you have innumerous material possessions available to you to be thankful. Next, you have your loving and adoring family, you must be thankful for. There are several people who are helping you directly and additional countless number of people that are helping you indirectly in your day to day affairs.
There are several beautiful natural things available to you in this world. Look at the blue sky, beautiful clouds, lovely moon and countless number of stars in the sky. Enjoy lovely weather and different climatic conditions in different areas of this planet earth. Admire wonderful environment full of vegetation including variety of trees, plants and flowers. Have you ever been to beautiful forests that are full of life? There are hills, mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans etc. to admire their beauty. And also there are countless number of beautiful birds, fishes, animals and various other creatures. Nature has provided us innumerous variety of food items including fruits, vegetables, cereals and several other delicious and nutritious fruits for your good health. You have so many things to be grateful to the nature and to the Almighty God.
Be thankful for each and every gift of God. Make your thanks giving habit spontaneous and these feelings must come from the bottom of your heart. It shouldn’t be a mere formality to say ‘thank you’. Everyone must practice it regularly and with total honesty.
Attitude of gratitude is rather helpful to the practitioner. The one who gives thanks from the bottom of heart is always benefited. You get several blessings coupled with more happiness, contentment, success and peace. There are several additional benefits of thankfulness including improved relations, increased emotional health.
On the contrary ungrateful people have a habit of always complaining to others. Thankless people are self centered and they always think for the benefit of the self. But they always remain unhappy and mentally disturbed. As a result they suffer from several diseases including blood pressure, diabetes and loss of memory etc.
All those religions of this world have suggested their followers to continuously practice thankfulness.
Christianity always favors thankfulness.
Bible says, “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 136:6 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”
In Hindu religious book Bhagwat Gita, God is said to assure in one of its verse,
yoga-ksemamvahamyaham” (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter IX verse 22)
It means “Sri Krishna said to Arjuna: Those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form—to them I give what they lack in life, and I protect what they have.”
In Islam thankfulness has been accorded high priority. Attitude of gratitude is given much importance and emphasis.
In Holy Qu’ran it is said, “And be thankful to Me; and do not be ungrateful”. (2:152)
Whenever you ask a Muslim: how are you? The person automatically replies with one Arabic word: “Alhamdulillah.” It says, “Praise be to God”.
For followers of Islam, it is one of the foremost important duties to be grateful to the Almighty God for all of His blessings.
There are three different levels of thankfulness. i.e.
- To realize and appreciate all blessings by and within the heart.
- To say thanks with the tongue.
- To express gratitude by doing righteous deeds.
God said to Moses: “Be among the thankful” (Surah 7, Ayat 144).
And he promised to the people, “If you are thankful, I will grant you increase”. (Ibrahim 14:7).
Various other religions of the world also promote attitude of gratitude among their followers. These are Buddhism, Confucianism, Jainism, Judaism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism and many more. Essence of almost every religion is gratefulness.
Thus you will see that thankfulness is a blessed attitude expressed towards others and is common in all religions of this world. It is an expression of love and appreciation of others.
Thankfulness is not bound to time, place or religion. Everyone says thank you in any language wherever he is and at any given time.
So let’s be thankful to God for, whatever, we have received in our life from Him. Let us learn to appreciate what we have in life.
It is therefore imperative to make a habit of thankfulness a way of life. Let your heart be filled with gratefulness and its fountain continuously flows from your heart and your mouth. Your tongue must always recite to the tune of thankfulness and appreciation.
In order to remain thankful you must practice following.
1. Count your blessings:
Count your blessings and be thankful to Almighty God for each and every gift. These are mentioned above. You must also be thankful to all those people who have ever helped you directly and indirectly.
2. Maintain a gratitude journal:
Everyday record in a journal about gifts and blessings bestowed on you by Almighty God, in your life. In addition, also thank each and every individual who is helping you in your daily affairs. Every night before retiring, write names of minimum ten persons who have helped you directly during this day. Send message of thanks to minimum two persons every day for their help.
3. Recite thanksgiving prayers:
Every day you must recite prayers of thanksgiving while praising Almighty God for helping you in various activities.
Thus you can make thanksgiving a purposeful and more relevant occasion. Make full use of your habit of thankfulness and gratitude.
Hope you will add flavor of gratitude in your behavior and reap its various benefits. And you will not restrict you to only one designated day of thankfulness. It will flow from your heart effortlessly.
I am thankful to you from the bottom of my heart for reading my articles and giving me strength to write.
Wishing you happiness in all that you do.
Quotes for Thoughts
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness. ~ William Shakespeare
Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. ~ E.P. Powell
Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~ Edward Sanford Martin
To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. ~ Victor Hugo
You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There’s another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift buying and donate what they can to charity. ~ Bill Gates
Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. ~ Henry Van Dyke
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. ~ Meister Eckhart
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. ~ Johannes A. Gartner
A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. ~ Cicero