Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Harvard Medical School reports that expressing gratitude makes you happier, and that cultivating it on a regular basis has real positive results.
This has been a very tough year for all of us, especially many small businesses. Some owners have seen their dreams dashed by closures and losses. Others have struggled to maintain contact with employees and customers. Overall, it may seem difficult to count blessings at this time. Nonetheless, there is still a lot to be grateful for. I ran a blog on this topic on Thanksgiving several years ago and it resonates with me today. I’ve updated it to reflect current conditions, but the thoughts of others that I quoted below are what I still take to heart.
Family and friends come first, of course. This year, it’s been impossible to see loved ones in person. Fortunately, technology has enabled us to “get together” remotely, so I’m grateful for that.
“The home is the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career.” – C.S. Lewis
“Let us be grateful to people who make up happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” –Marcel Proust
I feel truly blessed that I’ve been able to have a business, see it grow, and make some wonderful connections with people over the years. I get tremendous satisfaction in what I do. For those who’s businesses have gone under as a result of the pandemic, something to be grateful for is the opportunity to start over. When COVID-19 is behind us, there’s going to be great demand for many things, and entrepreneurial-spirited individuals will be able to start up new businesses and prosper.
“Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” — Marcus Aurelius
“If you count all your assets, you always show a profit.” –Robert Quillen (20th century journalist and the voice of small-town America)
I recall Ken Burn’s documentary Baseball and one of the interviewees said that a 1,000 years from now what history will remember about the U.S. is the Constitution, jazz, and baseball. I surely agree. It has been a tumultuous election season, but voting took place. The Constitution is still intact. While Broadway has been closed, jazz and other art forms continue to thrive. Sporting events this year have been rescheduled, but through it all, there was still a Worlds Series.
“When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.” –Adlai Stevenson
“Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country.” –Sinclair Lewis
“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” --Abraham Lincoln
I hope you share my sense of gratitude at this time of the year.
In the words of President Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”