A Reflection on Gratitude

A Reflection on GratitudeToday is World Gratitude Day! Celebrated annually on September 21st, it is a day of appreciation for all the wonderful things we have in life and in this world. The organizers had created an opportunity for all of us to embrace mankind, to appreciate our families and friends, our lives, our unique gifts, and all that we have received.

However, to reflect on its meaning and benefits and its positive impact on our lives requires TIME. Having the time in our life for gratitude, appreciation, and inner reflection is becoming increasingly important, as most people are looking for deeper happiness and contentment in their lives. Have you found it yet? Start by making time today, and be sure to make every day, a day of gratitude.

What am I grateful for? The things in my life that have meaning and bring immense joy make up these four F’s:

FAITH: a strong trust and confidence in the goodness and kindness of people and mankind, and a belief in a God who brings purpose, guidance, and strength throughout the seasons of life.

FAMILY: a foundation of love and support, these are the people who are there through thick and thin, to the edge of the Earth and back. My client relationships are also an extension of my family. Without any of them, I would not be where I am today.

FRIENDS: an extension of my love and support system, these are the people who make my world extra beautiful and more carefree. These are the folks who go the extra mile at a moment’s notice, offer a comforting word, and take the time to call when you least expect it.

FUN: a moment of pure joy and pleasure, this is a life quality that is always on my gratitude list. The ability to seek out the excitement and the happy things in life is a real gift. It takes courage to put away the phone and settle in for a tickle time session with your child. For me, a spontaneous trip to get ice cream or an unplanned day trip fits the bill.

As you might guess, all of the above requires TIME. And it is the one thing we all have too little of. It takes TIME to build trust between people. It takes TIME to develop solid relationships. It takes TIME to savor a moment of fun.

Know what else I am grateful for? The thousands of men and women I have served in a special way at a homeless shelter in downtown Boston for the past six years. Every week for a few hours, I join countless volunteers at St. Francis House — from local professionals and retirees to the college kids and the interns — and serve up a warm meal and offer a kind word of encouragement to the hungry, the lonely, and the forgotten. The rewarding thing is walking away each week with an awesome feeling that I have brought a sense of hope to someone who needed it so much, and each person is always appreciative of my time. Over the course of six years, I have donated hundreds of hours of my time to help serve the homeless. There is no greater feeling than giving for others.

You and I are given the same 24 hours to accomplish all that we set our hearts and minds to. Whether you squander it away on Facebook updates or spend it on filling your mind with knowledge, I hope you will make a little time today to reflect on and celebrate all the lovely things you have in your life.

Image credit: Susan Ho