Take time for gratitude even when facing difficult times

December 31, 2022


The holidays can be triggering and overwhelming for many of us, especially when we think about loved ones we lost, had rocky relationships with, or haven’t spoken to in years. However, this is also a perfect time to reflect on what we must be thankful for.

Gratitude, the appreciation for what we have, is a vanishing value in today’s western society. Historically, gratitude was a virtue that led to action. Unfortunately, modern times have reverted gratitude into simply a feeling. With society hyper-focused on consumerism, people focus on what they don’t have or on what other people have that they don’t.

People seek happiness by accumulating things, which has created a society that feels entitled to what it receives and thus does not adequately express gratitude. Further, people are taking things for granted. The ability to be grateful is vanishing with economic and human rise, creating artificial dissatisfaction.

Gratitude is like a muscle that you can develop to have more. Gratitude is how you choose to see and has the power to change your life. Shift your perspective – from ‘I have nothing’ to ‘I have everything’ and from ‘I am nothing’ to ‘I am all I need.’ Your reality will shift because gratitude shows you that you are enough and have enough. Gratitude exercises optimism and gets you out of the confines of your head.


You will see these hashtags in my tweets. I make sure to let everyone know how very thankful I am for their comments, compliments, and good wishes. I truly am humbled and so very grateful beyond words. The two words, thank you, are so powerful, and we have been overlooking gratitude as a society.

We are taking things for granted, whether people or acts of kindness. We really NEED to appreciate the people around us as we progress through life, and those two little words {thank you} are so vitally important to making everyone else around us feel good.

Since we were children, we have known that some situations require an expression of gratitude like this. My mother, for example, did a fantastic job raising me regarding manners and common courtesy. To this day, if she hears that my grandmother sent me a card, she’s on the phone asking me if I called to thank her. I have been force-fed ‘thank yous’ my whole life, and I am so glad she did.

Why? Because I see so many kids with the world on their plates – basically everything handed to them – and they don’t even have the common courtesy to say ‘thank you.’ Not saying ‘thank you’ shows a lack of class and a lack of leadership by the parents to teach their children common decency.

Why should we say ‘thank you’? You recognize that someone had a choice and didn’t have to do it.

  • Saying ‘thank you’ acknowledges dependence on others, and you are demonstrating that no man is an island.
  • You recognize the good deed, too, especially in this time-deprived society in which we live.
  • With a simple sign of respect, you are acknowledging your relationship.
  • Saying ‘thank you’ is contagious, so if you do something nice for someone, they will do something nice for someone else (paying it forward, so to speak).

 

Good manners are a code of conduct or rules based on common sense, courtesy, and decency. Gratitude is one of these rules. Saying ‘thank you’ means you are grateful for the good things that happen due to someone else’s effort.

As men, we need to take it upon ourselves to always say ‘thank you’ consistently and effortlessly. We need to lead the way to a more grateful society. It may take a little practice, but saying ‘thank you’ if someone does something for you is in order. Saying ‘thank you’ feels as good as it does to hear it. Plus, when you say it, people have a higher affinity for you — they like you more.

By making someone feel important and appreciated, you brighten someone’s day, and reciprocally that person will likely pass on that feeling to someone else. The act of saying ‘thank you’ is also powerful because it makes people more willing to do something for you again in the future. This creates a cycle of goodwill where “what goes around comes around.” As men, let’s lead the way to a more grateful society.


The concept behind saying ‘thank you’ is gratitude. Recognizing that somebody was nice enough to take the time to help you and to give you their time that they’ll never get back is the reason to explicitly express gratitude. So, make sure to thank people in your life at all times to express your appreciation.

Whether face-to-face or in a Facebook message, email, text message, or phone call – say ‘thank you’ to those who give to you or do something generous or kind for you. Do it all the time with no exceptions and no expectations. And while we’re at it, thank you so much for being here!

Now, tap into that feeling of gratefulness no matter where you are in life, and extend thankfulness to yourself and others. I will continue to tap into my gratitude and radiate it to others. It will be a good new year!

Grateful for my cup of coffee.
Grateful for the duvet I’m lying under.
Grateful that I woke up this morning to live another day.

Grateful for this moment.
Grateful for you.
Happy New Year!

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