If The Only Prayer You Ever Say In Your Entire Life Is Thank You, It Will Be Enough.


Does it seem strange to anyone else but me that the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S. is the day after Thanksgiving? It’s kinda like we’re saying, “Let’s get this giving thanks stuff out-of-the-way and focus on food, football, and shopping.”

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Thanksgiving is a major US holiday. Of course, in many respects this is a major world holiday, as it has been since ancient times, though the date may very according to different growing seasons.

Thanksgiving, as it has been for so many years, is a time of great feasts and family reunions, and this does not vary markedly for harvest type festivals in other parts of the world. The traditional “Horn of Plenty” is, after all, a harvest icon, and the celebration of a good harvest means plenty of good food for all.

It is also a timeless celebration, with a tradition that dates back to mankind’s earliest farming efforts. Today, most of us cannot comprehend the importance of a good harvest, but in archaic times the difference between a bountiful harvest and a weak yield could spell the difference between life and death, mal-nourishment or health. It could also have much more disastrous effects, such as setting the stage for dynastic change, and periods of upheaval.

Of course, the American Thanksgiving is in many respects considered a religious holiday. Obviously, the connotation is that we give “thanks” to the Lord for our good fortune. This too is not unique in harvest festivals. Throughout history, people have given thanks to a god or gods for a good harvest.

In many cases, it was the ancient ruler who had the ultimate responsibility of appeasing the gods so they would provide a good harvest, and it was the ruler who might be blamed if that were not the case. In ancient Egypt, for example, crop failures and the resulting famine are suspected as being at least in part the cause of several intermediate periods of governmental collapse between strong dynasties.

On the other hand, good harvests were a source of pride and bragging rights by kings who could take considerable credit for the good fortune because the gods were pleased with his actions and deeds.

This is not surprising. Egypt became famous as a “bread basket”, and the fertility of the Nile Valley was a source of pride for the ancient Egyptians. While Egypt may be well-known to us for their huge and glorious monuments, it was almost certainly the easy agricultural economy that allowed such sophistication.

Before calling for a national day of fasting, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln stated, “We have been the recipients of the choicest blessings of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation ever has grown; BUT WE HAVE FORGOTTEN GOD!

We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”

This is a tremendously powerful statement! Since the time President Lincoln gave this speech, the wealth, prosperity and peace experienced by the United States is far greater—along with the attitude of pride, selfishness and ingratitude.

But if this same speech were given today, there would be quite an uproar!

From television commercials, programs, movies, shopping malls and homes, a widespread attitude of SELFISHNESS is sweeping the nations of this world. Adults, children and teens are becoming more ungrateful each day.

A main accelerator of this ingratitude is commercialism. Society has been caught up in the “you-work-hard-so-you-deserve-a-new-car-and-a-vacation-in-Barbados” mentality. This, in turn, has caused many to believe the ideology that, if they do not acquire these extravagant luxuries, life is somehow treating them unfairly.

In today’s fast-paced world, we urgently need connectedness, even the brief bond of two strangers meeting in civil discourse.

Any of us who receives a sincere “thank you” knows and appreciates what it means.

By the time we are two or three years old, most of us have learned that people like it when we say “thank you.” Conscientious parents gently remind their children, “And what do we say when someone does something nice for us?”

By kindergarten, we have learned that a proper “thank you” somehow makes the day go more smoothly.

It is disturbing to see a child who does not say “thank you.” It is even more distressing to do a small kindness for another and not get an acknowledgement of that action or any sign that it had an impact and was appreciated.

And yet, in our non-stop, sometimes frantic lives we may easily forget the importance of gratitude, the value of that often brief but vital connection we make with strangers when we take a moment to smile and say “thank you.”

Civilized men and women benefit from saying it as much as the one extending the kindness appreciates hearing it.

Being thanked makes the heart sing. It means even more when both parties know each other, when there is mutual respect, just as a reprimand from someone we know well stings more.

And yet some who never fail to thank a stranger for holding open a door or picking up a dropped object consistently fail to express gratitude to their nearest and dearest.

Thank you” is a powerful means of communication.

It completes a connection between offer and acceptance.

It embodies an appreciation for gifts or value bestowed.

In essence, it expresses an awareness of connection between one person and another.

And “thank you” is not just a phrase. Giving thanks can take just about any form of appreciation, from a few kind words to a year-end bonus.

We’re taught to say “thank you” from the day we can speak. For many of us, unfortunately, the concept is often relegated to the same category as “good morning” or “How ya doin’?” — both on the offering and receiving end.

Ingratitude is an integral part of society. If you ask most people if they are ungrateful, they will probably reply, “Of course not!”

However, this attitude is so ingrained in their lives, they cannot openly admit—or even realize—that they are ungrateful.

But how can you tell if you are ungrateful? Are there things that identify ingratitude? And if so, what can you do about it?

Webster’s Dictionary defines “Ingratitude” as: “Forgetfulness of, or poor return for, kindness received.” It can also be defined as not appreciating or valuing what you have, or have been given. Unexpressed gratitude is also ingratitude!

Since self-love is inherent in man, he is in passionate love with his own creative achievements and intellectual and artistic accomplishments. Hence encouragement and appreciation play a most basic role in the motivation of individuals, and this is one of the most essential facts of social life.

Appreciation, while being the simplest and cheapest kind of medicine, is so marvellously effective that it can infuse new life into a torpid and impoverished society and open before it new vistas of life.

In the same way as man has physical needs in life which he strives and struggles to fulfill, the soul too has needs that must be satisfied. These spiritual needs and urges have been placed by the hands of creation in the depths of his soul.

The soul craves for appreciation and recognition, and it is for the sake of satisfaction of this inner urge that everyone so eagerly seeks social approval for his acts and conduct and is keen to receive the appreciation that he deserves. This helps reaffirm his personality and fulfils his aspirations and expectations.

A single laudatory remark can produce a profound effect on one’s spirit and bring about a spiritual revolution that could impel one to devote an entire lifetime to intense effort and endeavour for achievement and success. There are many who consider their success and achievement as owing to the appreciation shown by their elders and their generous compliments. Were it not for their appreciation, they could not have climbed the ladder of success.

On the contrary, parsimony in showing appreciation and absence of encouragement are big obstacles in the way of society’s progress and growth.  Constant and undue blame and censure produce a detrimental effect on one’s psyche and lead into vice and deviance.   They prevent latent capacities and talents from blossoming by causing lethargy, apathy and isolationism, which take the place of creativity and dynamism.

Young people who have mentally and emotionally entered a critical phase of life and reached the threshold of independent life need, more than anything else, appreciation and encouragement to actively advance in life and to apply greater effort.

“I would maintain,” said G. K. Chesterton, “that thanks are the highest form of thought.” It is easy to let our thoughts be consumed by concerns about reduced economic security, rising health care, energy or food costs, and other worries about the future. It takes more effort to focus, instead, on being grateful for what we have.

We all know the old adage: count your blessings not your sorrows. Science has now proven that heeding the wisdom in this worn-out saying produces tangible physical and emotional benefits

As neuropsychologist Rick Hanson explains in his video How To Take In The Good, it is not enough to feel grateful for a few seconds when something good happens. For your brain to get the full benefit of the positive event, you need to consciously focus your attention on the event. Let yourself feel good, even when it is small things such as putting the kids to bed or handing in a report on time. You do this by intentionally acknowledging the moment, feeling it for 10 to 30 seconds and letting it register deeply in your emotional memory. As Rick Hanson aptly puts it: “Don’t leave money on the table.” Savor all good moments! Life is a long series of moments.

The Universe provides.

Whether you are aware of it or not, the Universe has supported you in many ways. Too often we take for granted the things that have gone right in our lives. Our natural tendency is to dwell on fixing the real or perceived problems we encounter daily. And no doubt this tendency is necessary for us to advance in our relationships, our homes and our careers.

But, we should be grateful for all the fortunes that come our way, both good and bad. It is easy, of course, to be grateful for the good things in our lives. But we should be equally thankful for bad fortune, for that is what “works in us patience, humility, the contempt of this world.

When you have a difficulty, you learn more during those times than you learn in the good times. Someone wrote these words: “I walked a mile with pleasure, she chattered all the way, but left me none the wiser for all she had to say. I walked a mile with sorrow, and not a word said she…but oh the things I learned from sorrow, when sorrow walked with me.” We learn so much more in times of sorrow than times of joy.

I’ve learned the hard way, real faith is not receiving from God what we want, but it is accepting from God what He gives. You may never in this world figure it out, but you know that God is sovereign and someone wisely said, “Where we cannot trace His hand, we can trust His heart.” He is good and faithful, and so thank Him and praise Him any.

Live and Learn. We All Do.

Thanks for reading. Please share 🙂

Please don’t forget to leave a comment.

About julia29

Hi. My name is Julia El-Haj. I am a Hall of Fame Athlete, an MBA, Professional Certified Marketer, Certified Youth Fitness Trainer, a Specialist in Sports Nutrition and a licensed Real Estate agent. I gave up my "seat at the table" to be home with my 3 children because that's where I was needed most. I blog about everything with Wellness in mind.
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One Response to If The Only Prayer You Ever Say In Your Entire Life Is Thank You, It Will Be Enough.

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