Why should I be grateful when life is so hard, and I have so many things that concern me and demand my attention?

Being grateful is a many-dimensional thing.  It’s not just saying “thank-you” or remembering to send a note to someone for his kindness.  It’s really a way of relating to the world around us, and that relationship can transform us into a person who is able to take life’s upsets in stride, see beyond the obvious, and give reason for hope and joy.

Gratitude is an attribute of POWER.  Not the kind of power that flaunts itself to control others, but the kind of power that exerts itself to lift the spirit and elevate a person’s outlook on life.   When gratitude becomes the lens through which we see life we find that we can be grateful in circumstances that are less than optimal.  Why?  Because true gratitude allows us to see the benefits of our situation.  Those benefits may only be that we are learning greater patience, self-control or compassion.  They may be that we are experiencing things we’ve never experienced before.   A situation—even a very difficult one–that is examined through the eyes of gratitude will always yield some lesson or blessing of value.

Gratitude is a life changer and a life enhancer.  In fact, it changes US.  We find ourselves becoming more sensitive and appreciative of little things, as well as big things.  We see the value of people and delight in the accomplishments of others.  We learn that nothing is dull or boring because it contains reasons for appreciation and joy.   So, while life will still present difficulties, and we will still have concerns that demand our attention, we will also have a more balanced outlook regarding all that is transpiring in our world.