Scallywag

Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

If You Want To Be Happy Have Gratitude

September 19th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 53 secs

How we respond to life is up to us.

How we respond to life is up to us.

Yes gratitude is the most underrated of qualities in the modern world. Despite it’s ability to bring an abundance of happiness, appreciativeness is almost considered menial.

Flip through a fashion magazine and what kinds of expression do models wear? It certainly isn’t a visage of thankfulness, that’s for sure. No, the look is surliness and a kind of indifferent attitude (which is hardly a great role model to represent the pinnacle of anything, let alone clothes design).

TV and movie star heroes are rarely portrayed as doyens of gratitude either. Somehow, having enough cache and cash signals that people must assume an “I can’t be bothered with you” look.

Meanwhile, who are the people we keep pressing to show appreciation? Children. Despite a world of images that suggest entitlement, indifference, and arrogance, we expect kids to lift their game.

In some ways I can’t help thinking that unless people commit to having a more thankful attitude, they don’t deserve to be happy. After all, the litmus of all things good is how we share them.

To have joy but refuse to share it would be unthinkable. Yet some people are oblivious to their lack of appreciation and consider their happiness is something separate, like a possession.

But how can abiding happiness be so ugly? Unless it’s expressed, gladness kept to itself is diminished  (much like a stunted plant that never bears fruit). To be content requires a life that’s turned towards others.

That  might sound paradoxical, given the importance of personal reflection. Yet if joy is not shared it misses its ability to uplift those whom it touches.

The sad truth is that too many folk don’t really desire happiness. Instead, they want selfishness, where the pleasure is all theirs.

Without a yearning to encourage others, gratitude has little to grow on. Consequently, abiding happiness is unlikely (perhaps that’s why, for many, things are as good as they are ever going to get).

Splitting happiness from gratitude and giving is surely one of the major maladies of modern day life.  We forget that giving is about self-expression and empowerment and keep being led to believe giving is merely charity.

So, now, in the next 7 days, I’ve going to give you a challenge. Without seeking any thanks, give more of your gratitude and kind efforts to the people around you (yes, even more than you already do). For 7 days you can handle it. And as you do, watch how it influences others.. and you. For expressing genuine gratitude empowers us all and, in the process, makes our patch of the world a gentler place.

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