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I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. G.K Chesterton

My son said to me the other day as he saw me with a new book. “Mom, you really do think the answers are in a book.”

Absolutely, they are there for all of us. We have never been so blessed to have all the knowledge available to us. The printing press was one of the greatest inventions because it brought reading to the masses. It is our choice what we do with the array of knowledge available in libraries, book stores, and online.

I picked a book up off my bookshelf yesterday. The Magic by Rhonda Byrnes I started rereading it. If I read this part before I don’t know why I wouldn’t have remembered it. It is something I have thought cruel in the Bible.

Mathew 13:12 “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.”

Rhonda Byrnes says this passage has confused people for centuries. She says it is missing a word. When we add gratitude, the saying makes complete sense and is not unfair.

For whosoever, hath “gratitude”, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not “gratitude,” from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Now it makes perfect sense. When we look at what the Koran says it is easy to think “gratitude” is the missing word.

The Koran (14:7) says, “If you are grateful, I would certainly give you more; but if you are ungrateful. My chastisement is truly severe.”

Buddha said you have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.

Lao Tzu said if you rejoice in the way things are, the whole world will belong to you.

Krishna said that whatever he is offered he accepts with joy.

King David spoke of giving thanks to the whole world, for everything between the heavens and the Earth.

Jesus said thank you before he performed each miracle.

The practice of gratitude is at the root of most indigenous traditions.

When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself. Tecumseh

In an article, Miracles Come From Prayer and Sincere Thankfulness by Tony Alamo. He tells us how a woman in his church suffered terrible migraine headaches. He as pastor prayed for her. She was not healed. He asked God why she was not healed. God told him she was not grateful for what she already had. When Pastor Alamo told her this she began practicing gratitude and she was healed.

It is easy for any of us to see what we don’t have and focus on that instead of the blessings we have already received. We need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude daily.

According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier. They also take better care of their health and exercise more.

Robert Emmons a leading gratitude researcher has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms the link between increased happiness, and reduced depression.

Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Grateful people experienced more empathy and sensitivity toward others and a lessened desire for revenge.

A 2011 study in Applied Psychology on Health and Well-Being tells us spending just 15 minutes jotting down what we are grateful for may make us sleep better and longer.

A 2014 study published in The Journal of Applied Sports Psychology found that gratitude increased an athlete’s self-esteem. Other studies show gratitude reduces social comparisons. Grateful people appreciate other people’s accomplishments. Ungrateful people are often resentful of other people’s status, money, opportunities, and accomplishments.

A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Viet Nam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower levels of post-traumatic-stress-disorder. Gratitude fosters resilience.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is the quickest way to change our lives. As Wayne Dyer says, when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.  There is always something to be grateful for. When we’ve found ten things to be grateful for we can find ten more.

If we didn’t wake up this morning grateful, why didn’t we? There are many things we can be grateful for. If things are bad we can be grateful they aren’t worse.

The more we are in a state of gratitude, the more we will attract things to be grateful for. Be grateful for what we have and we will end up having more. If we focus on what we don’t have, we will never have enough.

Being happy might not always make us grateful, but it is hard to be grateful without feeling happy. We can even be grateful for the hard parts of our life, because in the pain is a lesson, and we can be thankful for the experience, and the gift of understanding more about life.

Gratitude helps us makes sense of yesterday, it brings peace to the present, and it helps us create a positive view of tomorrow. We can be grateful for everyone we meet in our life because everyone has something to teach us.

When we are grateful we separate privilege from entitlement. The highest regard we can pay to those people and circumstances we have lost is to be grateful they were part of our life. Nothing lasts forever but we can be grateful for the small or big part people had in our life.

We may have lost the love of our life too soon. How wonderful we met them, we can be grateful they were part of our lives for however long. We can be grateful our paths crossed and we experienced something wonderful.

If we try to control our life too tightly we may be missing the potential for gratitude. When we experience life without expectations we often enjoy moments we never thought we would experience. If we can live life with a little more gratitude and a little less attitude we will enjoy life more, and let other people be themselves.

Isn’t there a whole world out there to experience and be grateful for? If we look through the lens of gratitude will we experience life on a whole new level?

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. Charles Dickens

If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. Frank A. Clark

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