Like Sunlight Through Trees, Graciousness is a Sight to Behold

If You Want to Be Happier, Count Your Blessings

Sunlight Through Trees

Graciousness is like the sun shining through trees.  The rays refuse to be held back, or hidden by, circumstances or obstacles. They come shining through and it’s a beautiful thing!

Allow me to be among the first to say that’s it’s a shame we really only talk about thankfulness and gratitude one month out of the year. We should express our graciousness more often than that.

After all, we’re thankful for so much:

  • We’re thankful when we hear our children laugh. No matter how old they grow, the sound of their laughter is magic.
  • We’re thankful when we’re sitting on the couch with our spouse at the end of the day. All’s right with the world at that moment.
  • We’re thankful when we pet our cat or dog’s adorable head. We think, “I can’t imagine life without this little fur ball!”
  • We’re thankful for a warm home when it’s cool outside and a cool one when it’s warm.
  • We’re thankful for a vehicle that starts when we want it to and not just when it wants to.
  • We’re thankful for two arms that work and two legs on which to stand.
  • We’re thankful for our eyesight.
  • We’re thankful for the ability to hear.
  • We’re thankful that we’re able to speak (whether everyone around us always shares this gratitude is a different story!)
  • We’re thankful for the country in which we live.
  • We’re thankful to be free.
  • We’re thankful for the fact that we can run to the store when we discover that we’re out of something in particular.
  • We’re thankful for the fact that we can buy ourselves a new top that catches our eye in Target.
  • The list goes on indefinitely because the blessings go on indefinitely….

Worldwide, few people have most of the things listed above and precious, precious few have all of them.  If that doesn’t fill you with gratitude, I’m not sure anything will.

I’m not suggesting that we aren’t thankful… because I know better than that.  I’m just suggesting that we don’t VOICE it often enough. Why should we only talk about or think about being thankful in November? Aren’t our blessings worth shining a spotlight on the rest of the year?

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” - Henry Ward Beecher

Why do we forget to be thankful?

I think most of us get so darn busy trying to better our lives, better ourselves, and better our bank accounts that we forget to look around and see how good we actually have it right now.  We’ve become a generation of people who seem to think we never have it “good” enough.  A generation of people who, irregardless of how much money we have.. we only focus on getting more.

Sadly, we seem to focus more on what’s missing than what’s present.

 “The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”  – H. U. Westermayer

Have you ever known someone who had countless blessings, a million things going for them, a life most people would declare was charmed… and, yet, to hear them talk you’d think they were homeless and toothless?! Complain, complain, complain.  Sometimes people only focus their attention on things they want to change – it’s as though that’s all they see.  The sad thing is, these people will probably never be truly thankful. An Estonian proverb says, “Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.”

We should all enjoy and cherish what we have today – we have no written guarantee of having it all tomorrow.

“There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed.  If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.”  – Robert Brault

What good could come from all of us communicating their gratitude more often?

When someone is gracious, it’s contagious.  Especially if everything in their life isn’t what most of us would consider “charmed.”  When someone says, “My life may not be perfect, but I’m perfectly thankful for my life,” it has a rippling effect. Everyone else begins to feel a little more thankful as well.

Besides that, gracious people are radiantly beautiful! There’s nothing more attractive than someone who is grateful for their life and thankful to be alive.

While gracious people have a positive effect on others, the greatest reward of their thankfulness manifests itself in their own life.  They’re happier!  As author and Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast puts it, “In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”

I hope you’ll spread the word today about things you’re thankful for – whether it’s below in the comments, verbally with your family and friends, or on social media. Personally, I hope you’ll do each of the aforementioned!  Here’s a twitter challenge, name three things you’re thankful for and use the “hashtag” #ListOf3

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson

See More Quotes About Thankfulness.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are disrespectful, offensive, or off-topic.

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