Gratitude

      “Gratitude has its basis in our awareness of all the things that have come our way from the people and world around us. We begin with this inescapable reality: We are contingent creatures.  We depend on our environment for everything we need. We depend on the largess of the natural world for our very existence, and we depend on the people around us for the quality of our ongoing lives. Without the natural world, we wouldn’t have air to breathe, water to drink, or food to eat. Without biological parents to conceive us, none of us would have been born. Without nurturing hands to care for us during our infancy, none of us would have survived. Without people around to teach us how to use language and how to accomplish the basic tasks of daily human life, none of us would be able to fend for ourselves. And without the institutions of human civilization, such as schools and hospitals, not to mention governments, none of us would be able to realize our potential as human beings.
      Gratitude is a way of life that, when consistently practiced, leads to an abiding sense of joy—-joy at being alive, joy at being part of this amazing ecosystem we call planet Earth, joy at being able to begin each morning with the gift of a new day, joy at being able to love and work, and sometimes struggle and occasionally fail, and then begin again.”
Galen Guengerich, The Way of Gratitude: A New Spirituality for Today,        
Random House, 2020, pp 60-1.

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