Gratitude – in the large or in the small?

I recently participated in a group discussion of gratitude and gratitude interventions. One member of the group talked about having difficulty keeping up the habit of writing in a gratitude journal. He felt that he kept saying the same things over and over. It turned out that he felt that gratitude was a word for BIG gifts like freedom. The rest of us experience a much wider variety of gratitude since we are able to be thankful for things like someone opening a door when our hands are full or someone slowing down to let us change lanes or the weather being just the right temperature to be outside gardening or rain starting to fall on our parched gardens or a child remembering to leave enough milk for us to eat cereal for breakfast.

We talked about gradations of gratitude. Should we save the word gratitude for big ongoing blessings and use the word appreciation or something else to cover day-to-day miracles?




Filed under Gratitude

4 responses to “Gratitude – in the large or in the small?

  1. We should be thankful for even small everyday happiness.

    We are automatically grateful for bigger gifts.

  2. Gratitude is possibly the most powerful energy in the Cosmos. It alone can keep you connected to source and fill you with bliss. May your days be filled with Gratitude Energy ;-D

  3. I agree that we should be grateful for everything. And that often includes the things that don’t automatically seem as if they are good. The more gratitude we put into things and events, the more blessings come out of them. I’m so glad you mentioned this discussion because it’s an important one for all people. We take way too much for granted and if we concentrate more on being grateful then it makes us more aware of what’s going on around us. Thanks for bringing it up. I have created a software program I called The Gratitude Journal – an easy way to keep track of everything you’re grateful for. It’s completely free and no forced opt-in (


  4. Kathryn

    Ottayan: I like your point, but I don’t think gratitude is automatic. People who feel entitled don’t feel much gratitude. That’s why entitlement is worst for the people who experience it.

    Urayoan: It does appear that actions to build gratitude are particularly effective positive interventions.

    Terrie: Robert Emmons talks about building awareness and acknowledging gifts as intentional activities that contribute to gratitude and thence to greater well-being. I’ve looked at your site and find the idea of an automated gratitude journal interesting. Have you seen Caroline Miller’s gratitude club? I wonder if you could create a mutually beneficial connection?

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