For many, being taught to say please and thank you is their first introduction to gratitude.
In hindsight, I learned to be grateful for what I had early on. Tracing my gratitude back to my early days of preschool was learning to say grace. I still say it during meals to this day and it's been over three decades later. “ God is good, God is great, now we thank you for this food. Amen!” I’ve never gone a day without food and I attribute that to saying my grace.
What are your earliest recollections of gratitude?
I can remember growing up with limited funds which meant limited experiences. For me, it was always the small things and acts of kindness that meant the world to me; so when someone did something for me, I expressed my gratitude for them.
Over time, I made the connection that giving gratitude provides a conduit for things to work out in my favor. Showing expressions of gratitude were aligning wonderful experiences for me down the line. For example, my friends' parents would expose me to restaurants, hobbies, and places that I’ve only dreamed about. I was able to experience a richer life because I was genuinely grateful for their friendship. Once I found this out…
It was gratitude central from there.
People need to feel appreciated.
According to Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”, appreciation promotes and encourages healthy psychological development. People like to feel appreciated. I am the people, you are the people, we are the people. It’s not ego, it's human nature.
PEOPLE NEED TO FEEL APPRECIATED!
There are benefits to this. When we take the time to express our gratitude for someone, it raises the vibration on the planet. It’s like a kind act marathon if you will. Being gracious is infectious, it's like paying it forward, the joy that you bring or exude is now spreading, creating a positive effect. Look at you being all positive and shit.
The next time someone does something thoughtful for you, take the time out to thank them sincerely. I keep thank you cards and stamps in my workspace to drop lines of appreciation. Making a conscious decision to express gratitude will only welcome more things to be grateful for. It’s illustrating faith in God, Universe, or whatever your higher power is. Writing cards may not be your thing, but whatever your thing is, use it to convey your appreciation for others.
When we express love to others, we are welcoming more love into our life. Who are we fooling, we could all use more love
Evolving into the greater version of yourself requires the desire and willingness to genuinely express gratitude plus being open to receiving gratitude. Sometimes we have to revisit our foundations of gratitude and expand from there. No shame here. We owe it to ourselves because when we know better we must do better. I implore you to welcome more things to be grateful for, and may you see for yourself how you can be a vessel for someone else’s gratitude.