Have you noticed how much airtime the word gratitude gets these days? I have and gotta confess. Unfortunately, I don’t recognize the newest meanings and iterations!
Once upon a time, the meaning of Gratitude was the quality of being thankful, the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. In other words, Gratitude meant thanks and appreciation.
Gratitude, which rhymes with “attitude,” comes from the Latin word gratus, which means “thankful, pleasing.” In other words, when you feel Gratitude, you’re pleased by what someone did for you and also pleased by the results.
Yet these days, it seems Gratitude is much more about BE-ing and much less about thanking and appreciating.
I particularly like how we use the three words, ‘I love you.’ Very simple. We TELL the people directly (or write them if we are self-conscious). I love you. We don’t write journals and journals about I love you. We don’t post on social media all the reasons we love someone. We TELL the person. And somedays we get very specific about what we love today about them, and if we are brilliant, we tell them at least once a day that we love them.
Why can’t we do that with Gratitude? It is such an easy thing to do. Like,
To our spouses and partners Thank you. I am delighted you made dinner tonight. OR I so appreciate your kindness every single day. OR Every day, the one trait I see is your willingness to lend a hand. I am over the moon at what you have created here. OR I am so lucky to have you in my life, by my side, with me through thick and thin.
To our colleagues in our businesses Thanks for making that deadline. We could get in front of the customer immediately because of your stellar effort. OR I know you and me, we don’t always agree, but I rely on your attention to detail. OR Without you, I know we’d be sidetracked way too many times. OR What a fabulous job you did on that XYZ task. OR I so appreciate what you did for us. Thank you.
To our friends and neighbours, I can’t tell you how awesome it is knowing you are there for (my kids, my parents, my pet) when (define the circumstance) occurs. OR It means the world to me that I can count on you so easily. OR Thank you.
It’s about our Attitude
These days the world is clamouring for more kindness and compassion. A super easy first step is to change our attitude and express our Gratitude directly to the other person. You love receiving compliments and thank yous, right? We ALL do.
Making a regular habit of expressing our Gratitude is identical to saying I love you every day to the same person. It forces us to look outside of ourselves and pay attention to those in our world. When we see the beauty in everyone else and comment on it, more beauty rushes into our own world.
When we focus our attention on appreciation for even the most minor aspects of our life and what we have already experienced, it’s like waving a magic wand. Because then everything comes to us without effort. Obstacles fall away, our purpose becomes ever more apparent, and we become a magnet for miracles.
So please go ahead and adjust your attitude. Express your Gratitude directly to the people in your world.
Because all of us humans can use a bit more miracles in our lives, can’t we?