“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

Monday, December 1, 2008

What Gratitude Means To Me

Gratitude is a word with many meanings to many people. Ordinarily when we think of gratitude we think of the person we held the door for, which could not even say thank you. Sometimes we take without saying thank you. Do you thank someone for a gift? Perhaps you are grateful that you can afford the new I- phone you have admired, or thanked your waitress for a well-served meal. Maybe people are thankful for their family being close and being able to visit them for the Holidays with the car loaded with gifts for Suzy and little Johnny, Uncle Bob and all the rest of the relatives.

Gratitude to me is so much more than material things or even the food I eat. Gratitude to me encompasses so many emotions that I only hope I can convey them with words.

 Gratitude is having the freedom to give unselfishly to those who have nothing. It is the feeling in my heart of knowing one person drank a ladle of fresh clean water after having sifted through mud for most of their life. Waking up in relief that your humble home is still standing and your spouse is at your side. Being able to receive the rice and grain from the UN knowing your family will live another day. Watching the light in your child’s face as he or she goes to school for the first time, even though it has no seats and only a roof for shelter.

There are people in this world who have never had the pleasure of opening a gift all gaily wrapped. There are small children who have been forced into slavery, and if they are lucky they are not killed in war. Little girls have been raped at the young age of eight and nine, as their families look on in horror. Mothers watch as their children slowly die, their little bodies ravaged by AIDs.

Gratitude, do you really appreciate the meaning of this word?


Nyl said...

Gratitude is beyond visibility.

great entry! i love the read.

nice thoughts here.:)

Anonymous said...

Do we really appreciate the meaning of gratitude? No I don't believe we do. Thank you for this post - it's very thought provoking.

ettarose said...

Nyl, thank you for your comment. I hope to hear from you again.
A. I was afraid maybe I did not succeed in getting the words right."There but for the grace of God go I." I think that is how it goes.


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