The Kwakinti Indians in British Colombia have no word for ‘thank you’ yet live lives of extraordinary generosity.
For them, gratitude is an action, a way of living and looking at life. They have ‘an attitude of gratitude’. They ‘do their thanks’ rather than merely paying lip service.
For the Kwakinti, status is gained not by what they own but by what they give away. The more they give, the more they receive. This reciprocity is the essence of gratitude – and the essence of lasting love.
Properly understood, gratitude is the giving of thanks, the ‘willing of good’. It works miracles.
Studies find that those who make a conscious effort to keep a regular gratitude journal enjoy better health, increased happiness and more loving relationships.
So, as Kipling advised, ‘Delight in the little things’, and write them down.
Rather than waiting for the big things to happen – the promotion, the bigger house, the lottery win – be grateful for the smaller things: a cup of tea when you didn’t ask for it, the compliment that you didn’t expect, the warm hug on a cold day. For these are the things of which life, and love, are made.
Counting your blessings in this way is not as easy as it sounds. In our headlong rush for distraction, being present to the reality of our life and lover takes dedication and hard work. But like all hard work it pays.
It leads to a life you love – and to lasting love.
Want what you have
It’s easy to believe that something better lies just around the corner but chances are it doesn’t. Gratitude helps you see what you have, not what you don’t. If you want what you have you’ll never be poor.
Write it down
Research shows that those who keep a gratitude journal can lift their happiness levels by as much as 25%.
Make gratitude a habit. You’ll feel the results within weeks. And they will last a lifetime.
Next week: H is for Housework
MORE LETTERS OF LOVE