Gratitude causes us to pause and give value for the good. It prompts us to see the day's events in 20/20 clarity and reminds us to focus on the white space rather than the lone black dot on the canvas that is our life.
For most of us, giving comes a lot easier than receiving. Problem is, if you give and give and refuse to accept anything from others, be it a gift or a helping hand or even a compliment, you make life harder than it has to be.
Gratitude is a foundational strength. When you feel gratitude, a lot of other strengths can be built on top. For instance, the ability to love and be loved would be difficult, if not impossible, without gratitude.
Now that we get our food from Fred Meyer, Rosauer's, or Walmart, we often forget that many people were involved in bringing our food to the table. So take a little time this Thanksgiving to send a quiet "thank you" to them and to anyone else who's done something special for you lately.
There are strategies for cultivating gratitude -- even during times of epic disasters such as Hurricane Sandy. With practice, even under the most difficult circumstances, the ability to be appreciative will strengthen you.