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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gratitude Quotes to Ponder over Thanksgiving

Recently, at Little Flowers, one of my dear friends and I got to talking about gratitude...and the lack thereof. This friend could quote Shakespeare from memory and how he likened ingratitude to being harsher than cold wind.

We agreed that thankfulness was a virtue we want to instill in our children. I came home to gather a bunch of quotes on gratitude to share with my children this week before Thanksgiving. I'd already amassed a bible and scripture study on thanking God, but I wanted to branch out. In searching for the quote she spoke from Shakespeare, I found this...

Ingratitude is a despicable sin. Shakespeare personified it as a "marble-hearted fiend." He also said it is unkind as the cold wind of a blizzard. "Blow, blow, thou winter wind! Thou are not so unkind as man's ingratitude."

And, about children ingrates Shakespeare wrote, 'How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child.'"

This week before Thanksgiving we call WACKY WEEK and I'll post more about that and what we do perhaps tomorrow.

On this theme of gratitude, it fits to say here that we do write a thank you letter to someone who we are grateful for each year at this time. Sometimes we make lists or acrostic poetry on what we're thankful for as well. But we could be living with a spirit of thankfulness more often. I am reminded that a daily practice of "counting our blessings" would make gratitude more ingrained in us.

Here are some of the quotes gathered and discussed....


God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" ~William A. Ward

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~Epictetus

Gratitude is the least of the virtues, but ingratitude is the worst of vices. ~Thomas Fuller

There is no greater difference between men than between grateful and ungrateful people. ~R.H. Blyth

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward

Good men and bad men differ radically. Bad men never appreciate kindness shown them, but wise men appreciate and are grateful. Wise men try to express their appreciation and gratitude by some return of kindness, not only to their benefactor, but to everyone” ~Buddha

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero (Ancient Roman Lawyer, Writer, Scholar, Orator and Statesman, 106 BC-43 BC)

"When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude." -- Elie Wiesel

You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you." -- Sarah Ban Breathnach


Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road." -- John Henry Jowett

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves." Henry Ward Beecher

"What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it — would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have." -- Ralph Marston

"Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life."
-- Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough, Dimensions and Perspectives of Gratitude

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. ~Johannes A. Gaertner

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie

The greatest saint in the world is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives alms, or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice. It is he who is most thankful to God and who has a heart always ready to praise God. This is the perfection of all virtues. Joy in God and thankfulness to God is the highest perfection of a divine and holy life. - William Law

To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude. -- Albert Schweitzer

To live a life of gratitude is to open our eyes to the countless ways in which we are supported by the world around us. Such a life provides less space for our suffering because our attention is more balanced. We are more often occupied with noticing what we are given, thanking those who have helped us, and repaying the world in some concrete way for what we are receiving. - Gregg Krech

“It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast.–W.J. Cameron

Dear Readers, amongst all my blessings, I count you. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

3 comments:

Christine said...

I am so thankful for you too..and for your awesome blog.

WHAT a post!
Mine is short very very short but oh so thankful for faith,husband and my children.
and bloggy FRIENDS!

Leticia said...

Thank you for the reminder, I am grateful to have spent a peaceful Thanksgiving with my family. We missed my mother, who left us in 2009, but are grateful for our Faith which tells us she is with us in the Church Suffering. Where would we be without our precious Catholic faith?

Barbara Cook said...

What a great collection of quotes and Thanksgiving messages you got here. Thanks for sharing with us. they are truly worth reflecting for. cheers!