Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 274, October 5

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."--G/K. Chesterton

I have always been intrigued by the idea that gratitude begets happiness.  Conversely, ingratitude begets unhappiness.  Yet we spend much of our lives being passively, if not agressively, ungrateful.

Let me share with you a story that happened some years ago.  It's not one of which I am particularly proud, but it serves as a good example of ingratitude.  I had been writing for several years with more than my share of rejections.  An editor who had bought one book from me rejected every manuscript I had sent her following that one precious sale.  In a writers' magazine, I found a notice that she had left the publishing house and that a new editor had taken her place.

"Listen to this," I told my husband and read the notice to him.  "This is my chance to start over with a new editor."

I submitted a query to the new editor, who requested to see the full manuscript.  Within a few weeks, I had a sale.  (This was particularly significant in that the previous editor had rejected the book.)  I was ecstatic.  "We need to celebrate," I told my husband.

"Maybe you should first thank Heavenly Father for allowing you to see that notice in the magazine," he ponted out.

"Hey," I said  (and this is where my cheeks burn with shame).  "I did the work.  I deserve the credit."

Nearly twenty years later, I can still recall that conversation.  How dare I take credit ... for anything?  Whatever blessings I have, whatever blessings I might have, are all courtesy of the Father.

This I know for sure:  gratitude is the mark of a civilized and happy person. 

1 comment:

  1. This is burning for me. I am filled with frustration (aka ingratitude) today. No, I'm not happy. And don't I deserve to be unhappy today? I woke up, and found that the dog has missed (liquid and solid) on the carpet, the dishwasher had failed to empty it's soap into the load I ran last night, and my daughter had dried gum in her hair. When I was getting it out for her, she was screaming bloody murder and flailing around in a no-holds-barred fit. Like it was my fault. I don't even want gum in the house.

    Instead, it now rather unwillingly occurs to me that I can be grateful that I had all the materials I needed to clean up after the dog fairly quickly. I am running the dishwasher on a quick wash cycle, and that should solve the problem there. Peanut butter and hand cream took care of the gum, and I didn't even drown the ungrateful little wretch in the bathtub afterward.

    That, and I have a friend who reminds me to be grateful. My eyes may be a little wet now, but my heart doesn't quite feel like granite. I would have said adamant, but diamonds are valuable, and a hard heart is not.