October 2013 Archives

Gratitude Revisited

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"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy."  Brother David Steindl-Rast


It is an old adage - you cannot pursue happiness, but you can become happy in the midst of activities that fulfill your soul and make the world a better place. Happiness is a by-product of good works and gratitude and does not stand alone. Like the concept of self-esteem, it comes from the process of living rather than any mental formation.

Thomas Jefferson said that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" were inalienable rights for all of us. And yet, if we set out to "get happy" and try to capture it like some rare exotic insect or bloom, we find that it fades away in captivity.

Gratitude remains the best way for me to realize that the conditions for my happiness are already and always present in my life. As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, might we practice gratitude as a daily discipline.

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