"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On Being Grateful vs Thankful

I was out walking this morning thinking about the differences between being "grateful" and being "thankful".  When you look the words up in the dictionary there's very little difference between the two.  But it seems to me that you have to be "grateful" for something before you can be "thankful" of it.  I agree, it's a thin line between the two.  But here's an example.

I'm grateful to be able to purchase the seeds to plant my garden.  I'm thankful when they grow and mature enough to be able to provide me with a harvest.

Do you see the difference?

I'm grateful for so many things.  But ultimately I'm thankful for the blessings that they give me.

SM and I have been together for a long time.  I'm grateful that I recognized the kind of man he was back then and so very thankful that those qualities remain.  It's no small thing to be two people growing and learning and changing together over time and, at the end of the day, still be able to laugh and hold hands and know that deep down the respect and love we have for each other has survived everything that this world has tossed at us.

I'm grateful to have employment during these tough times.  But I'm thankful that I work at a job I can enjoy with people who feel the same way I do.  I need money to live my life.  My job provides me with that.  But the details of working with a wonderful group of people for the past 11 years, day in and day out, make me appreciate the fact that many of us do not enjoy the "grind" that provides us with "our daily bread".

I'm grateful that we live in a modern age that allows us access to health care and technologies that can extend our lives.  Last year I had an emergency appendectomy.  A hundred years ago my life would probably have ended at age 49.  I'm thankful that we live in a world that can provide us with medical care that allows us to live a little bit longer.  I'm also thankful that SM and I have our health.  We know this will change as we get older, but still...it's a blessing. 

These are just a few examples I can think of.  I'm sure if I had time I could come up with many more but I have to go to work today.  I have to remind myself that I'm grateful to do it...(I'd rather be home today).  But I have tomorrow off, to give thanks and to recognize all my blessings.

So here's a "Happy Thanksgiving" to you and yours...


  1. Have a great Thanksgiving. I am thankful I have a wonderful daughter & son-in-law. I also when reading your blog substituted the "other" word and it still made perfect sense so I guess either word works. Just be Thankful we don't have "Greatsgiving". Maybe that's the only place it doesn't work. :)

  2. I try to have an attitude of gratitude on a daily basis. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I feel better when I do!