Thanksgiving and Gratitude – What are YOU grateful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving in the US, a holiday that where everyone reflects on what we are grateful for.

So what is gratitude exactly? And how are Thanksgiving and gratitude related?

According to the English dictionary gratitude is defined as the “quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. This word comes to the English language from Latin gratitudo which is a form of the Latin gratus “pleasing, thankful”.

In the Buddhist worldview gratitude is the natural response to selfless kindness from others (doing something nice solely for your own benefit is not kindness).

The cultivation of gratitude in Buddhism naturally leads us to the direct experience of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life. By being grateful we in turn cultivate a heart of compassion for all sentient beings.

Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Avalokiteshvara (Guan-Yin) Buddha of Compassion Image: www.buddhanet.net

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” – Buddha

So today, let’s reflect on all those people and things that we normally take for granted and show our gratitude with loving-kindness and compassion.  I am grateful for my family who helped me when I needed it the most, grateful that I have a house, a loyal wife, and beautiful children, and I’m grateful to be alive and breathing.

May you and I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings!!!

What are you grateful for?  Please share in the comments below!

Also, do you have a Buddhist friend or want to get a gift for a fellow Buddhist?  Or anyone you know who is interested in religious studies?

Click here for great gift ideas!

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8 Responses to Thanksgiving and Gratitude – What are YOU grateful for?

  1. AJ says:

    Very nice post. Made me stop and really think about what I’m greatful for. Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses I guess is the msg here. Thanks for sharing the thought. I tried checking out some of the gift ideas but it didn’t seem to work out. Cant wait to see what you have going on there.

    • Ian H says:

      Thanks! Yes stop and smell the roses and be grateful for them.. I fixed the link to the gift ideas. I will continue to add more to the site over the next day or two.

  2. Mark says:

    The site Buddhist daily Wisdom is an extremely neat looking site. Its professional and clean, and navigation is great. Your piece on Thanksgiving was very well written. And not knowing anything about the Buddhism, reading that there are same similarities on being thankful for things was eye opening. Thanksgiving is totally universal. Being new to WA, I look forward to the day my site can have an appeal as your site does,

    • Ian H says:

      Thanks Mark! You’re right about it being universal. I’m glad you gained some insight from reading the article. Sometimes we take too much for granted. And welcome to WA by the way!

  3. Carlton Gonder says:

    Hi Ian,
    I think that Thanksgiving and gratitude are one in the same. In the sense that how we are with family and friends on the day of thanksgiving we should be like that everyday not just one day every year. We only have one to live why not make it the best life for yourself and everyone you influence?
    Yours Truly,
    Carlton

    • Ian H says:

      Hi Carlton,

      Yes, I agree. I think when we’re not truly present in the moment, then we end up taking everything even our loved ones for granted.

  4. Marcelino says:

    I would like to thank you ffor the efforts you have put in peenning this site.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade conternt by you laater on ass well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get myy own, personal
    website now 😉

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