The Importance of Gratitude


Many studies show that practicing gratitude will lead to a happier, more fulfilled life. One of my new year’s resolutions was to write down the best moment of every day or what I was grateful for every day. While I for sure have not written down something for every day, I have found the time to journal quite a bit. But more importantly, I have just been more grateful about the little things and life in general.

Practicing gratitude helps you with your life perspective. For instance, many of us complain about our sports or activities because they are physically hard and occupy a lot of our time. However, writing down why you are grateful for that sport or activity helps you remember why you did it in the first place.

I have been dancing since I was little, and one of the things I write about most is dance. I write how grateful I am that I get to do a physical activity where I can express myself artistically. I write about how grateful I am for the girls I dance with because they are basically my family and they love dance as much as I do. After a stressful rehearsal or practice, it is always good to remember these things. Though we may complain about our sports, we should be grateful for all the things they add to our lives.

This same concept applies to everything else. After researching and practicing gratitude for the past few months, I have learned the importance of gratitude, for the opportunity to use everything life throws at you by being grateful for it.

There is so much bad in the world. But more importantly, there is so much good. One of my friends once told me that though there are always problems, there are always people. Even in negative situations, it is so important to find your silver linings and be grateful for them.

Furthermore, if you are grateful for what you can take away from any experience, no matter how horrible, you can use that gratitude to share the lessons you learned.

Authors casually sew gratitude into many popular books, such as JK Rowling’s Harry Potter Series. The fundamental themes of Harry Potter, love and friendship, are built on gratitude. Harry often displays his gratitude for the people in his life, especially those who sacrifice for him. Dumbledore thanks Harry for his bravery and perseverence. Gratitude is not always the most visible concept, but it is still there.

Harper Lee also reveals reasons why you can be grateful for even horrible experiences in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Though witnessing Tom Robinson’s trial is very traumatic for Scout and exposes her to the extreme prejudice and hate in her town, it also shows her the extraordinary character of her father, something of which she had been ignorant. This gives her reason to be grateful for that experience.

Be grateful for your Cedar Falls education and experience. Be grateful for your family and your friends, no matter if you fight with them. Be grateful for your disappointments and your failures because you often learn a lot more from them than your successes and victories.

Be grateful for all the opportunities you have;  disappointment and failure merely provide you with opportunities. Be grateful for the world, and live your life so the world is grateful for you.

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