Merriam-Webster defines gratitude as:
: the state of being grateful
A quick search on the internet will yield other definitions for gratitude, all of which are similar to the one offered by Merriam-Webster.
Like many other abstract words, the meaning of the word “gratitude” is subjective in that everyone has an understanding of what it is based on their own perspective and perception.
I’ve always practiced gratitude in my own way. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always found a way to find something good in any bad situation, focus on that, and be thankful for it. I didn’t have what is considered a “happy” childhood, so appreciating things wasn’t an easy thing to do for a child, but I always managed to be grateful.
That is, however, the way I understood gratitude, which was really a constant voice in my head telling me to be thankful for what I had because things could be even worse.
That was my understanding of gratitude, that things aren’t perfect, but it’s important to appreciate everything.
A few months ago, I submitted a piece to Chris Palmore, who created an anthology titled Dear Gratitude, and my submission was accepted. I got the book as soon as it became available on Kindle and read it.
The foreword of the book, written by Thomas Koulopoulos, made me see gratitude in a whole new light. A few pages later, in the chapter Giving Gratitude, I read a definition of gratitude that completely altered the way I understood, used, and practiced it.
I learned something new from every page of this book, including the pages in the acknowledgement section of the book, which is beautifully titled “gratitude checklist.” Dear Gratitude is an anthology, so it is written by many people and offers various perspectives, each worth reflecting upon.
Have you ever really reflected on the meaning of gratitude?