Happiness and gratitude
A Chinese proverb, whose only purpose is to highlight the importance of being grateful, states: «When you drink water, remember the source». Gratitude is one of the most beautiful virtues of human beings. All sacred books emphasize its’ novel purpose: the Bible, the Koran, as well as the Jewish and Buddhists texts, just to mention a few.
Those scriptures have something in common, the need to thank nature, our fellow human beings, and especially God, for everything we receive daily. But above all things, for life. Just to be alive is a great reason to be thankful!
Gratitude is related to happiness. Some say that being happy is a token of appreciation, but in reality it’s the opposite. According to the Catholic Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast, «it is gratitude that makes us happy.»
Steindl-Rast says that we should always show our gratitude, being aware that «every moment is fleeting, a gift that we haven’t earned, but was given to us. Besides, we should not take for granted that there will be another moment like this”. Therefore, let’s be thankful for the present, and for the opportunity to reach for our dreams. «If we didn’t have this moment, we wouldn’t have the chance to accomplish anything».
“A grateful world, is a world full of happy people”, claims Steindl-Rastirms. It is surprising how much wellbeing and joy is generated by a gesture of gratitude or by a simple “thank you” spoken honestly to those who help us with material or spiritual support, without expecting anything in return. Being helpful and thankful, are virtues that give balance to human beings, only exceeded by love.
We show our gratitude to God by praying and acknowledging his greatness; to nature, by taking care of it, immersing into it, and enjoying it; to our fellow man, with simple gestures and sincere words, which is even more effective if we do it in person.
Let us not hesitate to make our gratitude public, even through social networks. In these times, it is admirable to do so when spirituality is scarce and men perform actions not worthy of appreciation, such as war and environmental destruction.
The majority of people in this world are inherently good and must act to enhance the wellbeing of others, making sure that when we help someone we don’t do so expecting repayment, and when someone help us, we recognize it.