I have learned a great deal in seven decades plus, on this journey we call life, but the one thing I have learned to cherish above others is this wonderful and amazing emotional state of mind, called GRATITUDE.

Being thankful, and expressing it, is the greatest single thing we can do for ourselves and others. It has this magnificent effect of making whatever we have enough, and when expressed to others, it causes a similar sublime feeling for them. It can make any house a place of refuge and love, often it makes enemies into friends, and if it is practiced often enough, it can give one a tremendous sense of well being, and change personalities from gloomy to everyday optimism.

All of us get depressed, at different levels, we think our problems and life obstacles are insurmountable, never thinking that there are others who would trade their situation for ours in a heart beat. When we are ill, even with maladies that can be cured or just require time to pass, we sometimes feel as though we are at wit’s end, never considering people who are in tremendous, constant pain, or suffering with incurable, fatal situations, who would pray to change places with us.

Money often enters into our woes, never considering that 1/2 of all the people in the world struggle to live on less than $5.50 (US equivalent) a day, trying to raise families on this meager sum. Could any of us really even begin to do the same?

Gratitude is no only good for ourselves, expressing it to others can sometimes make a world of difference in their existence. Haven’t we all had “bad” days that were brightened by someone, sometimes a stranger, paying us a compliment or thanking us for something that most others would have taken for granted?

I have taught myself to begin each day with a prayer of gratitude for all I have been blessed with, friends, family, love, faith, and this glorious, imperfect country in which I had the great good fortune to be born into, and I end my day, no matter how bad, with a similar one. Here’s hoping you do too. Almost nothing in this world that befalls you is so bad that someone, somewhere, doesn’t have problems that are a lot more severe. Think about those people and be grateful.

God bless….

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