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From My Desk


We’ve often heard the phrase – “an attitude of gratitude” – well, you not only need the attitude of thankfulness, but it must be demonstrated by your actions. What do you do each day to “demonstrate” – to “show” gratitude?

I recently read a powerful article entitled “The Role of Gratitude in a Long, Healthy Life” – that title grabbed my attention – I want to live a long and healthy life – don’t you? This was written by Pari Smart a Professional Development Specialist. The article begins by saying,

“We’ve all heard the old adage, count your blessings. But, did you know that every blessing you count increases your physical, mental, and emotional well-being?”

Those first two lines made me want to read more. Read those lines once again --- it increases your physical, mental, and emotional well-being!”

What really is gratitude? This article refers to an expert in the field. It reads,

“According to Robert Emmons, the world’s leading researcher on gratitude, the definition of gratitude has two components. ‘First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts, and benefits we’ve received.’ The second component, according to Emmons, is recognizing that the goodness comes from something outside of ourselves. Gratitude involves recognizing that we are not solely responsible for everything good in our life.”

Think about what you just read: TWO parts to gratitude. (1) affirm that there is good in the world, and (2) recognize that you are NOT solely responsible for the good in your life. To talk with some folks, you’d think that all is lost – there’s nothing good anywhere – ‘woe is me!’ And usually, they also say, ‘if anything good happens, it’s because of me!’ Ha! Really?

Do you know that in a recent study of grateful people, done by The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California-Berkeley --- grateful people are 25% happier and more satisfied with their life in all areas than other participants in the study.

It’s been proven that a grateful attitude in life (1) reduces anxiety and depression, (2) increases your immune function, (3) strengthens your individual resilience or ability to bounce back, and (4) enhances your relationships.

Jonathan Oatman, Jr., back in 1897, penned these words, which we have sung in church for years:

When upon life’s billow you are tempest-tossed,

When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,

Count you many blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,

Do not be discouraged, God is over all;

Count your many blessings, angels will attend,

Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

Count your blessings, see what God has done!

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

Count you many blessings, see what God has done.

Stop your complaining today --- change your attitude --- count your blessings --- give God thanks for all HE has done and is doing for you right now!.

Adopt the attitude of gratitude, and show it in your actions. Thank God --- and thank others around you who need to be encouraged.

Those simple words, “Thank you” are so powerful! Use them and mean them! You’ll change, and others will too.


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