Ripples outward and yokes circles of people in bonds of affection

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[…] Most people feel grateful some of the time — after someone saves you from a mistake or brings you food during an illness. But some people seem grateful dispositionally. They seem thankful practically all of the time.  These people may have big ambitions, but they have preserved small anticipations. As most people get on in life and earn more status, they often get used to more respect and nicer treatment. But people with dispositional gratitude take nothing for granted. They take a beginner’s thrill at a word of praise, at another’s good performance or at each sunny day. These people are present-minded and hyper responsive. This kind of dispositional gratitude is worth dissecting because it induces a mentality that stands in counterbalance to the mainstream threads of our culture.[…]

Gratitude is also a form of social glue. In the capitalist economy, debt is to be repaid to the lender. But a debt of gratitude is repaid forward, to another person who also doesn’t deserve it. In this way each gift ripples outward and yokes circles of people in bonds of affection. It reminds us that a society isn’t just a contract based on mutual benefit, but an organic connection based on natural sympathy — connections that are nurtured not by self-interest but by loyalty and service.

We live in a capitalist meritocracy. This meritocracy encourages people to be self-sufficient — masters of their own fate. But people with dispositional gratitude are hyperaware of their continual dependence on others. They treasure the way they have been fashioned by parents, friends and ancestors who were in some ways their superiors. They’re glad the ideal of individual autonomy is an illusion because if they were relying on themselves they’d be much worse off. […]

If you think that human nature is good and powerful, then you go around frustrated because the perfect society has not yet been achieved. But if you go through life believing that our reason is not that great, our individual skills are not that impressive, and our goodness is severely mottled, then you’re sort of amazed life has managed to be as sweet as it is. […]

~ David Brooks, The Structure of Gratitude


Photo Source: mennyfox55

My offering

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I take my morning mug of coffee in both hands
and lift it ever so slightly toward the sky.
I am alone;
there is no one to see.
This is my private gesture
— my acknowledgment,
my offering,
my moment of thankfulness
for the gift of this awakening day.

Kent Nerburn, ‘Of Coffee Mugs and Monks‘ from “Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life“.


Photo: Aegyptiacus

Driving I-95 S & N. Kooser. In the Head.

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It’s 5:45 am.
It started tracking me yesterday morning.
I’m driving to work. Dark is lifting to dusk.
I’m returning to the office after an extended vacation.
My head is tumbling with To-Do’s.
I round the corner for the last 1/2 mile stretch and there it was.
Full. Bright. Beaming. Silent.
I stare, and enter a few second refuge before pulling into the garage.

It’s 6:40 pm.
I’m done with my first day back, of meetings back to back.
I’m in my re-entry. Decompression? Gone.
I accelerate down the exit ramp and there it is.
Full. Bright. Beaming. Silent.
It’s tracking me the entire ride home up I-95 N.
And gracefully nudging me from exhaustion, to fatigue and softly settling me into calm.

Yes, Mr. Kooser.
I have missed so many. The count is well into the thousands.
But, no Sir. No Sir.
I didn’t miss this one.

[Read more…]

PostSecret

gratitude,blessed,peace,family,holidays,Christmas,postsecret,quotes


Source: Postsecret.com

5:59 am. Inspired. (And Thankful)

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Here are my selections for the inspiring posts of the week, this Thanksgiving week:

Jeffrey Foltice @ Photo Nature Blog with his photo above titled Morning Sunburst: the sunrise is near Hudsonville, Michigan. Check out Jeff’s other amazing work here.

Greg @ Sippican Cottage with his post Thanksgiving 2013: “…I think the worst condition of man is loneliness. It is a terrible thing to be lonely, or worse, truly alone. No one goes crazy in general population. It’s solitary that eats at your mind. Even the craziest of men, immured in stone, unable to get even a glimpse of the bright, blue tent of the sky, scratch at the walls to leave a message; to tell another that they were there… I am not alone in this world, which is good, because I have a melancholy nature. I am married, and I have children to throw rolls over the table at one another. They are my name, scratched on the unyielding wall of the world, telling anyone that will bother to notice that I was here. My family makes me calm about many things…People don’t often appreciate things that come readily to hand. I’m a person… We will have enough to eat, and sit in a warm room, laugh and wonder at the dogeared cards we have been dealt, and I’ll try mightily to shed the light that is my true function, to make me more fit for my work. We will all pray over our plate like children. Thanksgiving is the only kind of prayer that you can be sure will work, because it faces backwards. I tap on the wall of the Intertunnel, too. I often feel disconnected from my fellow passengers on this spinning rock, moreso each day. I wonder if some other inmate, some fellow traveler, might hear my tapping, and be braced by the thought of a fellow internee. I often hear tapping in return, and it refreshes me to carry on.” Amazing post.  More here [Read more…]

Thank you…

Thanksgiving, Thanks, Thank you, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Grateful

…for your inspiring posts, your comments, your friendship and your followership.  B.G. captured my thoughts this morning, I’m grateful for you.

Susan, Mimi, LaDona, Lori, Lorne, Alex, Anake, Anneli, Ashi, Beth, BeckyBonnie, Brenna, Caitlin, Carol, Carolyn, Christian, Clanmother, Cristi, Currie, David, Dale, Darlene, Dogdaz, Frank, Frank, Feygirl, Francine, George, Gretchen, Grisa, Indira, Ioanna, Ivon, Jaz, Jeff, Jenni, John, John, John, Joyce, Kalabalu, Katrina, Keith, Kevin, Kim, Kristin, Kurt, Laurie, Leonard, Lu, LukeManoli, Maralee, Marina, Marion, Mark, MBB, Meikah, Melody, Misafusa, MindfulDiary, MixandMatchmeme, Michael, Michael, Michael, Mirta, OneHot(Mess), Ophelia, Naomikko, Nat, Nia, Peter, Paul Mark, Ray, Refeatheringthenest, Renee, Rich, Rick, Rob, Sandy, Sandy Sue, Sarah, Senczyjawa, Simplecherishes, S.L., Sonia, Susan, Stephen, Stephen, Steve, Steve, Sylvia, Todd, Thomas, Tony, Tina, Val, Verna, Wally, Zezil…and for all of my other followers that I didn’t recognize…my apologies…and thank you.


Image Source: Modified Carl Richards Circle of Gratitude | Behavior Gap Behavior Gap