Gratitude is the way to return our kindness and appreciation to anyone who is our benefactor. A benefactor is one who has solved our predicaments and woes regardless it is financial, physical or spiritual aspects without any fear or favor.
Benefactors are benevolent of nature and it becomes their habit to help anyone who is in distress since they often practice the art of giving. However, many recipients of their benefactors are oblivious to paying gratitude. Many do not even know what gratitude is and how to shower this golden trait of gratitude to their benefactors. This article serves to address the proper ways to practice gratitude in life.
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is an inner form of appreciation and kindness ever ready to render our services and help outs to our benefactors once needed. Sadly, many people do not understand the true definition of gratitude and equate “what does gratitude mean?” to the act of reciprocation instead.
Reciprocation is only superficial, with the nature of providing assistance and usually in the form of giving one-time remittances. There is very little care and kindness towards our benefactors when it comes to the act of reciprocation.
The gratitude definition is actually a lifetime reciprocation. An expression of Gratitude can only be materialised if one always possesses the ability to empathize with others.
Truly, it is amazing to be able to witness the few people in this world who initiate Gratitude towards others, for this trait is almost a foregone era in this modern generation of innovative technology. Where everything is reverted to fast-moving activities, rapid transportation, instant transactions and quick solutions, humans are becoming more robotic in nature, with both human affection and care becoming oblivion in our society. This is where Gratitude becomes remote in existence.
Gratitude and Modern Society
The worst type of people who never believe in paying gratitude to anyone nor do they understand the inner meaning of gratitude are those who are atheists, non-believers in God or religion, and also free thinkers who only believe in themselves and not in any religion. When one does not believe in anything, one has the tendency to commit any wrongdoing without fear of being punished by God or karmic effects.
Worst of all, these types of people tend to have no binding of moral values and obligations to anyone. This crude character will never have the ability to comprehend the golden trait and practices of gratitude.
While it is evident that non-believers of God and religion do not possess the ability to understand the depths and benefits of gratitude practices, it is sadder to know that even those who are believers and followers of all five main religions of mankind do not have the command to understand and initiate the ability to practice Gratitude, what more for atheists and non-believers?
That said, believing in God or any other religion or way of life does not equate to being blessed with a proper understanding of how to practice Gratitude. After all, Gratitude is one of the fine traits of virtues. Likewise, possessing moral values does not equate to being able to successfully achieve virtues in life. Many people have the wrong notion that upholding our moral values and precepts will automatically grant us access to achieve virtues.
Virtues are actually the remnants of our vast exposures and wide experiences in gaining the wisdom of procuring our ultimate character of being patient, having tolerance, endurance, perseverance, determination and lastly, self-deliverance. It is only when one possesses these traits that only then, true virtues are born in ourselves.
How to Practice Gratitude In Your Life
If we were to really revive the spirit of Gratitude, then we need to tackle the situation at its root. There is certainly a great need to improve the system of education globally in terms of the reintroduction of civic education in schools and universities.
Civic and moral education where universal respect, care and kindness must be an order of the day. More exposure and experiences in living can also be gained through the encouragement of being involved with more social clubs and associations such as the BeFrienders, Lions Club, Friends of Nature Club, needy foundations and so on.
These basic structures of moral values coupled with social exposure and experiences will then allow one to start comprehending the true nature of care, love, affection and empathy towards others. These will set a good, solid foundation for learning gratitude in life. Where we have been taking everything for granted, we have now learnt the true meaning of existence. This will pave the way for us to arouse our humane feeling to express gratitude the right way.
Another important step to arouse our initiative to develop the trait of Gratitude is informal education at home. Charity begins at home, and so does our trait of Gratitude. Gratitude comes from our inner values of living. When we are taught from young to value respect, caring, blessing, good manners and obedience to laws and orders, we will then begin to learn inner values of appreciation, of being thankful and grateful. Thereon, we will possess the natural feeling of valuing people’s care, love and affection over others. This is a requisite to develop the instinct of showering Gratitude to others.
Unfortunately, we are witnessing the end of the era of proper informal education. No longer do we see parents giving good informal education at home. Many do not even take the initiative to raise their own children at home.
Instead, parents are resorting to babysitting by foreign maids or daycare nursery accommodation. Others leave their child to grandparenting which is equally bad and retrogressing. All these actions give rise to more distancing and a lack of communication between the parents and these growing children.
Without parental care, love and affection as well as warm communication with each other, grown-up children become inhumane, uncaring, indifferent in attitude, disrespectful towards others and have a great tendency to become offenders in all laws and orders. All these negative characteristics in life will create an isolation of Gratitude – how will these children ever learn the importance of gratitude when their parents were to blame for poor parenting?
Practical Ways of Showing Gratitude to Others
If we truly believe in the sanctity of Gratitude, we need to observe the criteria to procure Gratitude, namely the ability to sacrifice our time for others. Contrarily, many people do not have any time for good deeds performance. Without any allowance to forgo our precious time, we would not be able to provide assistance to our benefactor’s needs. We need to allocate some time or any time to fulfill the requirement of our benefactor needs.
Secondly, if we were to show gratitude to others, then we must also possess the physical energy to help and expedite the needs of our benefactors. We must be willing to take action in order for any required aid to be fulfilled. The ability to satisfy the needs of our benefactors through our constant effort to be mobilized anytime or at any moment must be present. When our physical body is intact and healthy, then can one have the ability to mobilize any action to assist anyone.
Lastly is the ability to sacrifice some of our money or income to meet up to our benefactor needs. Some good examples of gratitude include sponsoring or chipping in cash for your benefactor’s trip to another state which requires travelling expenses as well as food allowances.
The ways of showing gratitude could also be in some other forms of expenditure such as shifting a house or migration. Additional forms of paying gratitude could also be in the form of sponsorship on new clothing, furniture or electrical appliances based on your benefactor’s needs. All these expenses require a high degree of readiness to sacrifice some of our savings in order to show thankfulness and carry out of deep sense of Gratitude.
If we were to take a careful look at the above criteria of practicing Gratitude, we will notice an obvious pattern that misers, selfish people, inconsiderate persons, people who lack virtues, immoral people and lastly, non-believers in any religion would never be able to pay any Gratitude to anyone at all if the needs ever arise. With that observation, it is sad to note this is equivalent to more than half of our world population being unable to practice any Gratitude at all.
We fervently hope with the highlighting of this important need of practicing Gratitude that people would begin to see the real benefits of being grateful to someone who has somehow or rather given them some form of Samaritan help. For without their Samaritan help, one will otherwise experience hardship and mental woes with no help in sight.
Gratitude Quotes as Good Reminders
Coming to the end of our article, here are some quotes on gratitude we find worthy as food for thought: