The Art of Gratitude is not one that is encouraged in our culture. After all, a grateful person doesn’t make for a full-blooded consumer as preferred by the free market. So let’s take some time to reflect on being grateful. For example, your toilet.
Yes, your toilet. After all, it has been estimated that your humble toilet has added 20 years to the human life expectancy over the past two centuries. As of writing, many of you reading this have only lived a few years past 20 years. For those who prefer a more standard way of thinking over gratitude….
Know Your History
By this I don’t just mean world history. Though pausing to think of how things were can give you reasons to be grateful for how they are now, I mean your history. Take time to look at how things are now and recognise the progress you have made compared to even just a few years ago. Even if you feel that you haven’t made progress, isn’t that in and of itself something to be grateful for since such an insight is the first step toward a brighter future?
Now let’s take this down to the everyday level, where there is much we take for granted. Have a look at the following. Enjoy it for its insight and I’d encourage you to use it like a prayer which will bring enjoyment to God Himself.
Thank you, Lord, thank you.
Thank you for all the gifts you have given me today,
Thank you for all I have seen, heard, received.
Thank you for the water that woke me up, the soap that smells good, the toothpaste that refreshes.
Thank you for the clothes that protect me, for their color and their cut.
Thank you for the newspaper so faithfully there, for the comics (my morning smile), for the report of useful meetings, for justice done and big games won.
Thank you for the street-cleaning truck and the men who run it, for their morning shouts and all the early noises.
Thank you for my work, my tools, my efforts.
Thank you for the metal in my hands, for the whine of the steel biting into it, for the satisfied look of the supervisor and the load of finished pieces.
Thank you for Jim who lent me his file, for Danny who shared his lunch with me, for Charlie who held the door for me.
Thank you for the welcoming street that led me there, for the shop windows, for the cars, for the passers-by, for all the life that flowed swiftly between the windowed walls of the houses.
Thank you for the food that sustained me, for the glass of water that refreshed me.
Thank you for the car that meekly took me where I wanted to be, for the gas that made it go, for the wind that caressed my face and for the trees that nodded to me on the way.
Thank you for the boy I watched playing on the sidewalk opposite,
Thank you for his roller-skates and for his comical face when he fell.
Thank you for the morning greetings I received, and for all the smiles.
Thank you for the mother who welcomes me at home, for her tactful affection, for her silent presence.
Thank you for the roof that shelters me, for the lamp that lights me, for the radio that plays, for the news, for music and singing.
Thank you for the bunch of flowers, so pretty on my table.
Thank you for the tranquil night.
Thank you for the stars.
Thank you for the silence.
Thank you for the time you have given me.
Thank you for life.
Thank you for grace.
Thank you for being there, Lord.
Thank you for listening to me, for taking me seriously, for gathering my gifts in your hands to offer them to your Father.
Thank you, Lord,
Thank you by Michael Quoist