Why should I be grateful? Most of the world’s scriptures and nearly all the world’s great spiritual masters say that gratitude is essential for a beautiful life. Most ordinary people too would agree that complaining and criticising can make life bitter and sour – and bitterness and sourness, as we know, are not anybody’s flavours-of-the-week! Being grateful makes us positive, happy, and optimistic; it helps us see the bright side of life. It teaches us the art of appreciation, which, I am afraid, is becoming a lost art for some of us today.
Some experts believe that we lack the spirit of gratitude because we take things for granted. Maybe, we need to go without the things we take for granted, to be able to appreciate what we have. You become aware of all that you have to be grateful for, when you actually begin to count your blessings, you will be overwhelmed by gratitude for all that God has bestowed on you so unstintingly. Your peaceful sleep, your loved ones whose dearest wish is just to see you happy, your friends who add value to your life, your good health which you utterly fail to appreciate until you fall ill, the fresh air and sunlight around you – where would you be without it all?
Gratitude is the foundation of a peaceful life, and a secure and stable mind; it is also the essence of spirituality. Many people think that if they had a little more of this or that, a little more than what they now have, they would indeed be very happy and satisfied and thankful: they are quite mistaken. If we are not satisfied with what we have, we are not likely to be satisfied even if it were increased many times!
Have you heard of the law of attraction? If you feel grateful for what you have, you will attract many more things to be grateful for. Gratitude is the very basis of the abundant law of attraction. We must remember that gratitude is not an attitude to yourself; it should be an attitude to life, an attitude which you show to others. Gratitude is most beautiful when it is expressed, and not just when felt.
(Dada J.P. Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader.)