Ripples #1122: Gratitude in Tough Times

Ripples #1122: Gratitude in Tough Times
Nov 23, 2020


When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.
-Gilbert K. Chesterton, shared by Amy in Charlotte, NC


When people in great numbers choose to practice, integrate, and embody gratitude, the cumulative force that is generated can help create the kind of world we all hope for and desire, for ourselves and for future generations.
-Angeles Arrien, shared by Scott in Madison, WI


Gratitude is important, powerful, and helpful, even when life is really hard.

You know what? Let me state that again with a tweak:

Gratitude is important, powerful, and helpful, especially when life is really hard.

Expressing gratitude is not about ignoring the unpleasant aspects of our lives, and we sometimes misuse the concept. Think about the last time you heard some version of: “I know things are crappy right now, but things could be worse so we should just be thankful for what we have.” You may have even used a version of this on yourself, and that’s not good, either.

Even when this is accurate, it may not be particularly useful because it reinforces a false choice that we can either be blissfully happy about the good stuff in life OR miserably disappointed about the inevitable hard stuff. Especially in the midst of tough times, the key is to expand our awareness to make room for both the yummy and yucky aspects of our existence. Cultivating gratitude allows us to savor the yummy stuff, and puts the yucky stuff in a context so we remember that it isn’t the ONLY stuff we have in our lives.

I’ll wrap up by extending an extra helping of gratitude for the many Ripplers who have chosen to sacrifice some traditions this year in order to help us minimize the spread of Covid. May our choices in 2020 lead to a much more enjoyable 2021!

P.S. If you’d be interested in sharing Hope for the Holidays, we whipped up a limited-edition gift package called A Bundle of Hope:

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