This week the Free Write prompt from Kellie Elmore is the word “GRATITUDE.” If you are not familiar with the free write challenge, feel free to read the intro on Kellie’s website. In short, here is what is expected. . .
- Do not think. Do not edit. Do not pay attention to spelling, punctuation or form.
- Just allow the moment, your feelings, your imagination to run free and…
- Do not stop until you find yourself forcing your words or trying too hard to complete a thought.
We are taught from early childhood to say “please” and “thank you” to the point the words flow as naturally as chocolate syrup being poured over ice cream. If someone should ask why you reply as such, a common response would be “Because my mother taught me to say so.” But, is that all there is to it? Is simple saying “thank you” enough? Are those words being used from learning simply because it is the right thing to say, the way we were taught?
Thanksgiving brought with its celebration heartfelt thanks for the many, many blessings bestowed upon each of us on a daily basis as we journey through life. Echoes of thoughtfulness, thankfulness and gratitude resounded throughout the day as family and friends gathered in fellowship and prayer. In thinking back over the day, a question comes to mind: “Isn’t giving thanks being thoughtful in expressing gratitude for what we have?” So, what is the difference in being thankful and expressing gratitude?
When I was a young child, I was among those who were taught the right thing to say, the “please” and “thank yous.” But, I cannot remember ever being taught gratitude. Did its meaning evolve as my vocabulary bank received deposits of new and unfamiliar words? Perhaps with recognition of both the good and bad in life an awareness was evoked for all the things I was truly thankful. As for today’s experiences in the blogosphere, I am thankful for the words that sometimes flow more easily that others which offer inspiration for purposes unknown to me at the time written. Most importantly, however, is the gratitude I have for those who choose to read and follow the musings I so thoughtfully share. To me, being thankful is learned whereas gratitude is a choice.
My challenge to you: Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing today, pause and reflect on whom or what you are grateful. You may find it easy to name coming rather naturally or you may find it takes some time for the right choices. Just remember, regardless of whether easy or hard, the goal is still giving thanks and being grateful for all you have. Isn’t there a lot to be thankful for…all you have to do is put a little catnip into your life: Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!
That’s it, folks…no rereading, editing or mulling over whether I accomplished what I intended. Let it fly. . .