Gratitude is a feeling of recognition and appreciation for what is good in your life.  Gratitude as a practice expresses that feeling in words and deeds.  What’s the opposite of gratitude? The opposite might include taking good experiences for granted, accepting those good experiences grudgingly, or regretting the past.  Gratitude is a result of and contributor to personal happiness and to rewarding and stable relationships.

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Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.

— Anne Lamott

The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice and the desire for personal independence — these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it.

— Albert Einstein

Sometimes our inner light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.

— Albert Schweitzer

All looks yellow to a jaundiced eye that habitually compares everything to something better. But by changing that habit to comparing everything to something worse, even making it a game, that person can find gratitude, relief and happiness where-ever they go and whatever they experience, guaranteed!

— Alexander Pope

Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for.

— Barry Neil Kaufman

If our religion is based on salvation, our chief emotions will be fear and trembling. If our religion is based on wonder, our chief emotion will be gratitude.

— Carl Jung

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”

— Celia Thaxter

Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

— Charles Dickens

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

— Cicero

Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude.

— Confucius

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

— Cynthia Ozick

For all that has been,
Thank you.
For all that is to come,
Yes!

— Dag Hammarskjöld

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

— Denis Waitley

Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.

— Dorothy Thompson

For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.

— Elie Wiesel

We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.

— Ellen Goodman

To those who followed Columbus and Cortez, the New World truly seemed incredible because of the natural endowments. The land often announced itself with a heavy scent miles out into the ocean. Giovanni di Verrazano in 1524 smelled the cedars of the East Coast a hundred leagues out. The men of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon were temporarily disarmed by the fragrance of the New Jersey shore, while ships running farther up the coast occasionally swam through large beds of floating flowers. Wherever they came inland they found a rich riot of color and sound, of game and luxuriant vegetation. Had they been other than they were, they might have written a new mythology here. As it was, they took inventory.

— Frederick Turner

There are slavish souls who carry their appreciation for favors done them so far that they strangle themselves with the rope of gratitude.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

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

I hope it is not pompous to call the chief idea of my life; I will not say the doctrine I have always taught, but the doctrine I should always have liked to teach. That is the idea of taking things with gratitude, and not taking things for granted.

— G. K. Chesterton

The ultimate test of a man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.

— Gaylord Nelson

Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.

— Gertrude Stein

In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

— H. L. Mencken

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.

— Hafiz of Persia

Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted — a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.

— Harold Kushner

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! My extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.

— Henry David Thoreau

I don’t know everything about how joy works. But I have some guesses. As this week begins, I’m thinking about how joy has a way of meeting us in the most complicated places — how it comes as a strange grace that enables us to stand in the midst of sorrow or pain or chaos, to acknowledge and name them while refusing to let them have the final word. Joy asks us to trust that something is at work in a way we cannot see clearly but in which we are asked to participate, that we might be part of how it arrives. So this blessing is for you, for this day, with such gratitude and hope.

— Jan Richardson

Gratitude is liberating. It is subversive. It helps us to realize that we are sufficient, and that realization frees us.

— Joanna Macy

Next time you see a tree or plant, take a moment to express thanks. With each breath you take in, experience gratitude for the oxygen that would simply not be there save for the magnificent work plants have done in transforming our atmosphere and making it breathable. As you look at all the greenery, bear in mind also that plants, by absorbing carbon dioxide and reducing the greenhouse effect, have saved our world from becoming dangerously overheated. Without plants and all they do for us, we would not be alive today. Consider how you would like to express your thanks.

— Joanna Macy
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