How do you want to live your life?

Expressing Gratitude

on November 24, 2012

We may not celebrate thanksgiving in the East; but I am sure today’s post is applicable to everyone regardless of race and culture, and everyone should be very mindful about putting it into practice whenever they can.

“Feeling Gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

I talked about gratitude a lot; in fact my thesis was written about how people experience gratitude. Today, I am taking you one step further. Feeling grateful is not enough; I am urging you to do something about this warm, fuzzy feeling of contentment and appreciation. Fortunately, we already have a natural tendency to react to feelings of gratitude. We will usually feel a need to return the nice feeling or want to help others attain this state of pleasantness.

For those of us who are still wondering how can you show gratitude, it can be done in many ways. I am already assuming that you are already feeling blessed for what you have; which is why I am not going to explain what gratitude is all about. When you feel grateful to someone, the full potential of it cannot be realized if you do not take any action to show your gratitude. Gratitude is supposed to be a cycle; even better if it becomes a vicious cycle. But instead of being in a cycle of self-destruction, it is a cycle of constantly thinking of the other party and trying to find ways to make him/her happy because he/she bring so much joy in your life, and vice versa.

I suppose girls would do this more often than the guys. Sometimes when I see something I know would amuse one of my friends; I would get it for her. And they would return the favour when their opportunity comes along. Some people might read this and think to themselves; this is silly and tedious. It might be for you, but for the people who put in the extra effort (it need not be buying things for each other all the time, there are other ways to shoe people you care about them and that you are so thankful that they are in your life) and receive in return, it is a wonderful feeling. To know that the other person is also thankful to have you in their lives, and they have made the effort to do something nice for you.

Gratitude needs to be reciprocated, that is the whole point of this emotion. The associated feelings of gratitude should propel you to want to take action. But if you resist the urge; then the emotion and meaning of it is lost on you. Just like the quote I posted today; you cannot feel grateful and not show it. It just does not work that way. Gratitude requires one to be aware of the goodness he/she have received; it encompasses feelings of humility and being loved. It is often rare that you do not feel the need to reciprocate. But if you are one of those who feels grateful but is too shy to express it; be it due to social/cultural norms or a shy personality. I am humbling telling you this; feelings of gratitude cannot be kept within yourself, it needs to be expressed and shared with the person who gave it to you. The fact that you felt grateful is a great feat; don’t waste it by not harnessing the positivity of it and passing it along.

So today, take the time to do something nice for the people you feel grateful for. It can be as simple as giving them a hug and telling them how much you love them….

Another quote that I loved, in case you are still unclear about my message today:

‘I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’                 – Maya Angelou  


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