Quotations on Thankfulness

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God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used

one to say "thank you?" William A. Ward

Gratitude is the memory of the heart. Jean Baptiste


I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;

and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. G.K.


You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before

the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and

pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before

sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking,

playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

G.K. Chesterton

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

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present

and not giving it. William Arthur Ward

"It must be an odd feeling to be thankful to nobody in

particular. Christians in public institutions often see this odd

thing happening on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone in the

institution seems to be thankful "in general." It's very strange.

It's a little like being married in general." - Cornelius Plantinga,


We grow in love when we grow in gratefulness. And we grown

in gratefulness when we grow in love. Here is the link between

the two: thanksgiving pivots on our willingness to go beyond our

independence and to accept the give-and-take between giver

and thanksgiver. But the "yes" which acknowledges our

interdependence is the very "yes" to belonging, the "yes" of love.

Every time we say a simple "thank you," and mean it, we

practice that inner gesture of "yes." And the more we practice it

the easier it becomes.

-Brother David Steindl Rast

TB: In your research do you find that some people are, by

nature, grateful? And, if so, have you discovered anything that

you think makes that difference?

RE: There’s a whole cluster of related characteristics that seem

to go together — things like optimism, hope, gratitude, and

happiness. Some of this, I would guess, is genetically

determined. Some of it is going to be based upon early life

experiences and positive relationships with other people. Very

little of it, interestingly, seems to depend upon circumstances.

So there are just these ways of framing life experiences that

transcend good or bad things that are happening to a person.

There’s a cluster of positive characteristics and then there’s

another set of characteristics which block those positive

characteristics. A sense of entitlement, or deservingness, is

something that’s going to block this recognition that other

people are partly responsible for the good things that happen to

us. When I take all the credit for the good things that happen

to me it’s going to be hard to feel a sense of indebtedness or

sense of gratefulness in life.

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