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Gratitude

  • It seems like the first law of Nature is that everybody likes to receive things, but nobody likes to feel grateful.

  • For what I have received may the Lord make me truly thankful. And more truly for what I have not received ...

  • Half a loaf is better than no bread.

  • Well, I have one thing to be thankful for — the rooster that lived next door, that didn't know how to crow, but crowed all the same every three minutes, has been executed and cooked. So there are always mercies if we only see them.

    • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman,
    • 1886, in Brent L. Kendrick, ed., The Infant Sphinx: Collected Letters of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman ()
  • Once you understand that God is the center of the universe, it's all very simple. Not a day goes by that I don't say, 'Thank you. I'm truly blessed.'

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Bill Adler, ed., The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey ()
  • Be thankful for what you have — you'll end up having more.

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Tuchy Palmieri, Oprah, In Her Words: Our American Princess ()
  • We are all more blind to what we have than to what we have not.

  • ... Gratitude is, for some Mortals, the most unwelcome of Emotions ...

  • The true sin against the Holy Ghost is ingratitude.

    • Elizabeth I,
    • in Frederick Chamberlin, The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth ()
  • Of all the qualities of a gracious life, appreciation is the most essential. When we're conscious of all the good and beautiful things and people in our lives, not judging, but living in continuous gratitude, we're free to connect with the great, timeless truth. When we show appreciation, we're recognizing the divinity within us, our true identity.

  • ... ingratitude is the necessary consequence of receiving favors of which we are ashamed.

  • ... the obligation to express gratitude deepens with procrastination. The longer you wait, the more effusive must be the thanks.

  • Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone.

  • ... there shall be / Eternal summer in the grateful heart.

  • ... my life has been wonderful. I have done what I felt like. I was given courage and I was given adventure and that has carried me along. And then also a sense of humor and a little bit of common sense. It has been a very rich life.

  • I'm the same person I was back then, / A little less hair, a little less chin, / A lot less lungs and much less wind, / But ain't I lucky I can still breathe in.

  • I swear I could write a book about all the things no one has ever thanked me for.

  • Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.

  • ... grateful people are a bore and become obsequious, which causes their benefactors to doubt the wisdom of their choice.

  • I fully realize that this gratitude of mine is not in the least a sign of perfection: it must be my nature — I could be suborned with a sardine ...

    • Teresa of Avila,
    • 1578, in E. Allison Peers, ed., The Letters of Saint Teresa of Jesus, vol. 2 ()
  • When you live with constant gratitude, your life will become a living prayer.

  • Authentic success is living each day with a heart overflowing.

  • ... there's a self-expansive aspect of gratitude. Very possibly it's a little-known law of nature: the more gratitude you have, the more you have to be grateful for.

  • ... I have observed gratitude to be a principle, that bears the smallest share in the hearts of those where it ought to be most strongly resident, so that I begin to imagine one half of the world don't understand the real etymology of the word.

  • ... who was the cynic who had defined gratitude as thanks for favors to come?

  • Gratitude weighs heavily on us only when we no longer feel it.

  • Ah, we have to be generous to be grateful ... One has oneself to be a giver.

  • Gratitude is a very pleasant sensation, both for those who feel and to those who excite it. No one who confers a favor can say with truth that they 'want no thanks.' They always do.

  • How insensitive, inartistic, unscientific, and ungracious it is to take anything for granted!

  • It needs a great nature to bear the weight of a great gratitude.

  • When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren't grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

    • Cynthia Ozick,
    • "The Riddle of the Ordinary," Art and Ardor ()
  • Once we learn to count our blessings they increase. Gratitude keeps good in circulation.

  • When I thought about how much pain was spread about the world, I clearly realized that I had received my share of benevolence, and that according to the principle of distribution I was indebted to the world in return.

    • Sok-kyong Kang,
    • "A Room in the Woods," in Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton, trans., Words of Farewell: Stories by Korean Women Writers ()
  • Ah, gratitude, that's a terrible thing, a dangerous thing.

  • Pay it forward.

  • The more we thank God for the blessings we receive, the more we open the way for further blessings.

  • A generous spirit is as eloquent in acknowledging benefits as it is bounteous in bestowing them ...

  • Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Gratitude makes things right.

  • Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes. It is the key that unlocks positive energy in our life. It is the alchemy that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts.

  • Gratitude turns negative energy into positive energy. There is no situation or circumstance so small or large that it is not susceptible to gratitude's power.

  • [Academy Award acceptance speech:] I want to thank Troy, New York, my children, my family, my friends, and everybody I ever met in my entire life.

  • If we neglect our privileges, the gods take them from us ...

  • Gratitude is the richest, most joyful feeling humans are privileged to experience.

  • Wars come and wars go but the world does not change: it will always forget an indebtedness which it thinks it expedient not to remember.

  • Feeling gratitude isn't born in us — it's something we are taught, and in turn, we teach our children.

  • We have all known ingratitude, ungrateful we have never been.

  • Some sins have no season. We are as likely to be angry in November as to lose our rag in March ... There is, though, something autumnal about greed, apple-cheeked and wheat-crowned, purpled knee-high in grapes; something summery in sloth, as the hammock creaks in the fly-drowsy heat; and more than a tickle of spring in lust, as birds pair and the sap rises. Among these, ingratitude is winter, the worst of seasons.

    • Ann Wroe,
    • "Ingratitude Is the Deadliest Sin," in Intelligent Life ()
  • My wish for you / Is that you continue / To let gratitude be the pillow / Upon which you kneel to / Say your nightly prayer.