I, like most of you reading this, have experienced a tornado of vehement emotions that has permeated every fiber of our being during this unprecedented election. Never in our history of politics have we been held captive by more negativity, hateful words, finger pointing and blaming. All the negative ads used to just be on our network media, now it's everywhere. Social media likely the most prevalent, enticing hateful opinions, condescending words, finger pointing and blaming. As many have expressed on social media, they are feeling anger, disbelief, fear and downright depression. Many have disassociated themselves with family and friends and experience profound sadness over what we have been made to believe, that America is broken and divided by virulent feelings from both sides.
How in the world do we embrace gratitude during a time of such profound negativity? It is possible AND it takes INTENTION! Lets see how we can accomplish this seemingly impossible task.
A good place to start is to define the WORD gratitude, according to Webster gratitude is: “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.’, but let’s go a little deeper.
The true MEANING of gratitude is to FEEL and LIVE with a grateful heart every day.
This election has brought up many buried issues and frustrations from both political parties, of our society and government but in spite of all the discontent it’s very apparent we CARE about our country and politics does matter to us! We love our country and that is GOOD. We can’t let the discord engulf our hope and confidence.
“Of all the universal themes that have been transmitted through perennial wisdom, the expression of gratitude continues to be the glue that consistently holds society and relationships together; its opposite – ingratitude – contributes to societal dissolution and separation. The expression of gratitude is essential to humankind’s sustainability and survival. Gratitude’s stabilizing and healing effects, which have been researched from multiple standpoints—cultural, psychological, physical, spiritual, and even financial—have made it abundantly clear that the benefits of living a grateful life are irrefutable.” ~www.Gratefulness.org
In its simplest terms Gratitude means giving thanks. Are we thankful for America? Of course we are and in a bipartisan group (which we are) let’s focus on what is GOOD about our country, the things we have accomplished and what we have done right.
Another quality of Gratitude is humility. According to Webster humility is: “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people: the quality or state of being humble”. Being humble understands that the good in our life is a gift and we need to feel gratitude for all that is good. Many people of all races, religions, sexual orientation etc..fought and lost their lives to give us what is good about our country and The Constitution. These people “gifted” us with these liberties, we didn’t earn them…
Gratitude is trusting and hopeful. Gratitude is trusting in that it helps us see what is strong and right. It doesn’t reside in weakness or negativity. We must trust enough to build on our strengths and what is right, good and positive in order for us to move forward TOGETHER.
Importantly..Gratitude is realistic. We cannot solve all of our problems in one election nor the world’s problems. We must step back and assess how to realistically move forward as a country because what we do DOES matter and is worth doing, not only to this country but to other countries in all parts of the world and their leaders.
“Gratitude will change the conversation. Indeed, gratitude is not just about the big structures of politics that we often find so overwhelming and alienating — it is about our daily lives as individuals. We can use it to reclaim and humanize politics as we experience it. With it we can see other people as fellow citizens, not as ideological opponents. We can hold our elected officials responsible as stewards of the common good, not competitors in high-stakes robbery. And we can see political beliefs and partisan views as proposals for everyone’s benefit, not as dogmatic assertions about what would benefit ourselves.”~ httsp://thejesuitpost.org
Regardless of the outcome of the election, we have cherished relationships and friendships that co-exist in spite of our political differences. We need to hold our leaders accountable to the same standards, but it must start with ourselves. We can change the conversation; gratitude doesn’t synchronize with negativity or divisiveness. Make it your INTENTION and embrace awareness to feel gratitude in your heart and be thankful for all that is good.
Gratitude is not going to solve our problems but it’s an antivenin to all the hateful, negative, finger-pointing and blaming.
Let Gratitude Begin With You.
- My blog was inspired by a post from https://thejesuitpost.org/2015/10/5-ways-gratitude-can-change-politics/