How does gratitude lead to hope?
Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be...– Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
What’s new that is a cause of thanks? What’s...
One can shape life best by trying to build up a strong and noble character...– Louisa May Alcott (Unitarian, author)
Nothing happens unless first we dream.– Carl Sandburg (Unitarian Universalist, poet)
The first sign of faith is love. The message of the holy, divine Manifestations...– ‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace p. 337
Gratitude is the heart’s memory– French Proverb
Awe for Gratitude →
In the linked Tapestry of Faith session, children are invited to create a gratitude list, to name the people they are grateful for. This is a splendid practice, as it connects us to people we can take for granted. If our list is short, then perhaps we have more to do in reaching out and being a reason for others to be grateful, growing new relationships. If our list is long, then we have many...
What uplifts your spirit?
The art of music is divine and effective. It is the food of the soul and spirit....– ‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace p.52
Faith is a direct and individual experience. It is a movement centered in...– Sarah James (Unitarian Universalist, tax consultant, poet, lay preacher)
Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back...– May Sarton (Unitarian Universalist, social critic, author)
How does gratitude increase courage?
Seeds of discouragement do not grow in a thankful heart.– Anonymous
I have believed my entire life that working to improve the world, even in small...– Margaret Ann Morgan Capron (Unitarian Universalist, social justice advocate, hospice organizer, elder counselor, LGBT rights advocate)
Dreams are the touchstones of our character– Henry David Thoreau (Unitarian, Transcendentalist, author, naturalist)
I can’t explain why faith in God each day gives life new zest; I only know,...– Alice M. Harrison (Unitarian Universalist, religious educator)
Dignity, Not Detention →
As the issues of immigration continue to trouble in the U.S., take some time to consider what mandatory detention means for thousands of people. Any law that dehumanizes some, dehumanizes too the people who accept and enforce those laws.
How is gratitude connected to rejoicing?
The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.– Rumi
Hope: Sesame Seed & Date Nut Palm →
Another favorite wisdom tale, Sesame Seed & Date Nut Palm one speaks directly to the issues of economic injustice, entitlement, and abuse of power. It also invites us to cultivating hope, trust, and compassion. Those who’ve been watching the Egyptian peoples demand a more just government won’t be surprised that this wisdom tale is a very old one from Egypt.
Do you wait to give thanks? Why? Why not?
To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for...– Albert Schweitzer
How beauteous are the sunset-banners waving Their golden-penciled folds along...– Sarah Broughton (Universalist, author)
I am grateful what I am and have. Thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising...– Henry David Thoreau (Unitarian, Transcendentalist, naturalist, philosopher)
The inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a maxim...– Fannie Barrier Williams (Unitarian, educator, lecturer, journalist, social reformer)
It is an abuse of language, it is a solemn mockery, it is sheer nonsense, to...– George Bradburn (Unitarian, antislavery politician, journalist, minister)
A Thanksgiving Blessing →
Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.– Robert C. Linter
What are the connections between gratitude and...
Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing - a grateful heart!– George Herbert
Justice makes tireless demands, and we grow weary. As we touch one another in...– Toni Vincent (Unitarian Universalist, minister, social activist)
What love are you grateful for?
Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.– Kahlil Gibran
The best thing in every noble dream is the dreamer– Moncure Conway (Unitarian, Methodist, minister, scholar, abolitionist)
How is gratitude scary? How are you working with...
Gratitude can be scary. Gratitude can be scary because true thankfulness, while cultivatable, isn't about control. While we or others might use thanking strategically, that isn't true gratitude - it is about controlling and encouraging particular behaviors or outcomes we want. Expecting to be thanked is also about control, about being seen and valued the ways we want to be seen and valued, about wanting someone else to say - often publicly - they needed us.
True thanksgiving ushers us into a very vulnerable place. We waken to our dependence upon others, upon life, upon the Holy. We waken to not being in control of a whole lot, of being part of something that can't be bargained, contracted, or exploited. True thanksgiving places us right in the center of receiving. True thanksgiving brings us right into surprise, which might veer in laughter, but might just as easily veer into fear. Gratitude can be scary, but it is also wonderful - literally, full of wow! and awwww!
How is gratitude scary for you? How are you working with that fear?
Another reason we turn logical with our gratitude is that it is terrifying. The...– Regina Sara Ryan in Praying Dangerously - From Spirituality & Practice
How are you giving thanks for the great diversity...
Love is a form of work or a form of courage.– M. Scott Peck
Imagination…its limits are only those of the mind itself– Rod Serling (Unitarian Universalist, social activist, writer)
In communion with the highest, in striving for the best, in losing oneself in...– Olympia Brown (Universalist, minister, reformer)
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they...– Henry David Thoreau (Unitarian, Transcendentalist, philosopher, author, naturalist)
Fame is a pearl many dive for and only a few bring up. Even when they do, it is...– Louisa May Alcott (Unitarian, author)
How do you give thanks in a time of war?
The question isn't 'how do we give thanks for war' but how do we find gratitude in the midst of devastation, fear, and destruction. In some moments, it might not be possible. During those hours and days, we have to hold on. And then there's an inbreaking moment of peace, a moment of love, a moment of awe, a moment when we can truly give thanks. And we do. Those moments of thanksgiving a little oases, little reminders that there is more than war, that there is a peace we want to create, a world worthy of living into, a way of healing that can happen.
Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your...– Charles Dickens
How does gratitude shift your attention?
Whenever I find myself overwhelmed by negativity, counting curses and hurting to the point of being stopped by anger, bitterness, grief, or confusion, I breathe and I haul out the gratitude. Changing my attention to gratitude, to all the reasons I have to be thankful, changes how I feel, infuses me with a new energy, and gives me strength to carry on. The more I've been practicing gratitude intentionally, the more my attention shifts to experiencing and focusing on blessings. Trouble happens, but it doesn't dominate. How does gratitude shift your attention?
The person who has stopped being thankful has fallen asleep in life.– Robert Louis Stevenson
Besides learning to see, there is another art to be learned – not to see what is...– Maria Mitchell (Unitarian, astronomer, educator)
People may flatter themselves just as much by thinking that their faults are...– Elizabeth Gaskell (Unitarian, author, reformer)
What memories have been changed by gratitude?
Over time, we gain new perspectives and tell our stories in different ways. What memories have shifted because of gratitude?