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The Essence of Gratitude

Thanksgiving Day, a holiday that is celebrated in the USA, falls on the fourth Thursday of every November. It is usually observed with much fanfare as families reunite, traditions abound and sales skyrocket, reigniting the festive cheer. While surrounded by all these popular culture expressions of the holiday, it is important to remember its historical significance. Thanksgiving is observed in remembrance of the great hospitality extended to the English by the native Americans in the 17th century. The central theme of a reunion is woven into the tradition. In the midst of apple pies and turkey delights, Thanksgiving reminds those who celebrate it of a vital aspect of life – the art of being grateful. This is also precisely why we have chosen to feature it here, even though it is an observance that is specific to one nation. Thanksgiving may be only for those in USA, but the sheer beauty and importance of gratitude is something we could all cherish.

A day to remember all the blessings and goodness in life lays the foundation for a culture of abundance and generosity. What are we, without the colours of gratitude, love, thankfulness and concern? When we forget the subtle – though massive – importance of gratitude, we tend to callously take things for granted which, my friends, is a slippery slope. As time passes by, an unappreciative demeanour usually makes us end up in a dark alley of loneliness, where we are accompanied only by the ghosts of our regrettable decisions.

Research clearly shows that gratitude, on the other hand, cultivates positivity and happiness. Being grateful, as these studies suggest, works like a charm and overflows into all dimensions of life, thus contributing to our holistic wellbeing. Being extremely contagious, gratitude can deeply impact the lives of those around us as well, for the better. This is why the Bible encourages us to give thanks in all things, for this is the very design of God for our lives. He is the author of life and all the blessings in it, and being thankful gives us the most simple way to enjoy all of it to the fullest. It amazingly turns what we have into enough. This Thanksgiving, let’s allow the gentle stream of gratitude to sweep over us. I won’t be surprised if you come out smiling.

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