Appreciating the Art of Giving Thanks

There is a lot of noise in the world, and it is easy to get caught up in that noise and distraction and lose sight of what means the most.  The end of the year brings a welcome opportunity to slow down and reflect on all of the things for which we can be thankful.  Here are a few thoughts and quotes on the value of being thankful more often than not.

  • When my children were very young and attended Montessori school, they said the following words before each meal: “We are thankful for the food before us, we are thankful for the friends beside us, we are thankful for the love among us. We are thankful!”  These words were delivered in the lilting, cherubic, high-pitched voices of toddlers, so they were that much more endearing.   But even now, hearing this phrase warms my heart and brings a smile to my face.  There is very little in life that cannot be made better with love, friendship and food.  I am lucky enough to have more food than I will ever need, friends that are so dear to me that they are like family, and a heart and home that is filled to the brim with love.  Even when I have my most crazy days and feel overwhelmed by the challenges of work, parenting, and navigating life in general, I need to remind myself that things are more than good.
  • One of the whiteboards in my office has the following quote written on it: “It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.”  The whiteboard faces the elevator and I am faced with these words every morning when I arrive.  I see the words daily, but rarely do I pause and think about their true meaning.  I think we all try to chase happiness, and I know that I am the type of person who is always looking for and wanting more.  These words are a really nice reminder to be proud and grateful for what is right in front of us.
  • Lastly, I am moved by a quote from President John F. Kennedy, who said “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” To recognize that all success is built on the shoulders of others is cliché, but even though we know this, how often do we say “thank you”?  I know that I do not do it nearly enough.  There are so many people that have influenced who I am, and what I have accomplished, and telling these people thank you is as important as being grateful for all that I have and all that I am.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, today and everyday.