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Hearts Full Of Gratitude



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Gratitude takes practice.

We thank people and organizations; we thank the young person packing our groceries; we thank the person who holds open the door; we thank the friend who remembers a special occasion. We are not thankless.

But true gratitude, that deep sense of thankfulness, demands reflection on all that is good in our lives, on all those who contribute to a sense of wellbeing, on all that is actually right in the world.

When we become aware of and give recognition to the things that give us ease, we can develop a sense of peace within, even during difficult times.

We live in a busy world. There are demands made upon each of us for work and play. To pause every day and think about what it is for which one is grateful can feel like another demand on time.

Practice gratitude, though, and it soon becomes a habit that provides a sense of contentment.

When you thank someone, do it with sincerity. Appreciate the other person’s efforts. Slow down, make eye contact, connect with that person. Let your voice and body language convey your gratefulness.

Journaling is one way to remind oneself of all that is deserving of recognition. Start with writing down just five things each day for which you are grateful — just a word, just a phrase, just a name. Keep it simple and do not be afraid to include the “mundane” things in life: for dew on the grass, for the sun reflecting off a pond, for the smile on the face of a teenager walking by, for running water, for clean air, for waking up to a new day — even for the challenges we have that make us stronger and resilient.

If the written word evades you, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and name five things that fill your heart with gratitude.

Do it every day. Be grateful.

We celebrate Thanksgiving on November 28 this year. If you count yourself among those who have family with which to celebrate, food to fill your stomachs, and shelter from the weather, be grateful. If you or someone you know is suffering and reasons for gratitude seem elusive, reach out.

Social Services can help to those in need. We are grateful that this department exists. There is not a house of worship in Newtown that cannot aid in making connections to ease life’s troubles. We are grateful that they exist. Local philanthropic organizations will direct assistance to the less fortunate. We are grateful they exist.

The community “Need Help” brochure is a compilation of agencies and people prepared to assist others in various ways, and for that, we are grateful. The free brochure is available in the lobby of The Newtown Bee, 5 Church Hill Road.

Gratitude is more than a rote “Thanks!” tossed out. It is a skill that when honed, gives back as much as it gives.

On this Thanksgiving Day and every day, make gratitude a priority. What a world we could be.

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