Tuck those Halloween costumes away and let’s plan Thanksgiving dinner! The harvest is finally here to be collected, shared and enjoyed. November is permeated in equal measure by the theme of abundance and gratitude.
Although a little too overused a concept, like most anything in life, gratitude is not black and white. Generally it is associated with the notion of abundance, hence the more one has the more one needs display gratitude. And what about people who don't have as much abundance? How does one cultivate gratitude in life? Are we born with a certain dose of it, or do we constantly build the muscle for it?
How people display gratitude is also very interesting. Some people have this noble notion engraved in their souls and others evidently little less so. Others still would run as far away as possible before they expressed the faintest notion of gratitude both to themselves and others.
Luckily, we have an entire month to ponder on the notion of gratitude. What it means to us personally and also to others we hold close. To become more aware of how we cultivate it in our actions, words, and hearts.
Because all is fine and dandy until there is some degree of gratitude exchange between people. But how do we react to when gratitude is not shown towards us, and worse yet, when it is deliberately withheld from us? Do we allow ourselves to wither because someone chooses not to notice, let alone honor, the kindness and generosity we have displayed towards them? Do we then perpetrate the same cycle of ungratefulness? If tit for tad is our currency of gratitude we are moving a world away from it!
This is the hard part about gratitude. In life, there will always be lousy examples of getting hurt by someone's deliberate actions of choosing to ignore showing gratitude for the care, support, respect, or the sheer opportunity we have given them. And yet, none of it is good enough a reason to allow shrink down our own ocean of gratitude.
The great Friedrich Nietzsche said that, “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” Let’s be artists!