The Fourth Degree of Gratitude
In the Three Degrees of Gratitude, we explored how to engage in different levels of appreciation. The first degree of gratitude is about developing a habit of saying thank you. The second degree is a state of being in which we express gratitude with a kind gesture. The third degree is about finding gratitude where it’s hard. We especially need to be grateful in difficult times. But is there a more active way we can exercise gratitude?
The fourth degree of gratitude:
The fourth degree of gratitude is about giving. Love is in the giving. If you think about people that seem to be very grateful, you might find that they give a lot. They don’t mind sharing. They are generally happy because they give. When you give, when you decide to give, give unconditionally. Give out of love with no strings attached. Think about who you give to or for what cause.
Most importantly, be mindful of how you give. How you give is a reflection of how you love. So give with empathy, kindness, and reliability. Avoid giving half way or half-heartedly. All this doesn’t mean we forget about reciprocity altogether. What it means is you give because you recognize that you can. Being grateful helps you to become aware that you have enough to share and love to give. So how can you give thanks?
- Be courteous and be kind
- Host a meal
- Share your talents
- Share a moment
- Be available
- Be proud of your loved ones (and tell them why)
- Surprise someone
- Give a gift
- Give your time (presence)
- Encourage others
- Visit, call/video, write, chat, or e-mail someone
- Support what loved ones offer or produce
- Support people in need
- Offer genuine recognition
What other ways can you find to give thanks? I’m sure you can see the trend: giving food (resources), giving time, giving encouragement. Giving is a realization of personal growth that gives purpose to our lives: the more I have, the more I can give. The more I give, the more I grow and the happier I become. Lastly, when we give thanks, we celebrate that the world is abundant, as long as we work together and share with each other! Who do you think could benefit the most from your gratitude? Who could you give or give in a better way?
Juan F. Diaz
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