Gratitude is a hard thing to talk about. Too often, it ends up sounding like bragging. You know, the whole "I'm so grateful for my wonderful husband, kids, house....perfect everything". Or it sounds like something you should be saying. "I'm so grateful for the opportunity..." but it somehow rings hollow.
The thing is, we should be expressing gratitude. Loudly, often, repeatedly, with total sincerity. Every day we wake up, it's a gift. No bullshit. Every day, everywhere, some people DON'T wake up. You woke up, drew a breath. That is amazing.
I'm not singing a chorus of "everything is awesome". I'm not a pollyanna. Life is full of hard things, difficult things, impossible things. But there are golden moments in every day, if you are open to them. And if you can't find them, well still, you were there, right? living, breathing, with the prospect that things could improve.
Gratitude is a way to acknowledge the importance of others; it can be an exercise in humility. You don't really accomplish anything entirely on your own. Acknowledging that can be hard -- it's so counter to the American ideal.
Gratitude is the antidote to grasping. If I am full, content, replete in myself, I am not wanting, chafing at lack, jealous, bitter, angry.
Gratitude is the key to empathy. It opens your heart to all the connections that exist between you and every other living thing.
I am grateful for love, for family and friends, for the world and everything in it. I am grateful for life, for death, and for everything in between.