Every day, we experience a myriad of emotions and endless thoughts. Fleeting moments of happiness may be replaced with annoyance, anger or anxiety as we react to events unfolding around us. By being aware of negative feelings and their impact on our outlook in life, we can change our attitude by cultivating gratitude which brings with it contentment, peace and joy.
This noble quality declared to be one of the highest blessings in life by the Buddha, arises when we see the inter-connectedness of our existence with other beings. Take a moment to reflect on all the support that we have been afforded in life, leading up to the supportive conditions we have today.
The kindness and selflessness of so many people in our lives are humbling; parents provide for us unconditionally, teachers guide us wisely and friends accept us completely. Our arrogance is further stripped as we recall the services of countless others who are enablers of comforts such as amenities, food and shelter.
Gratitude is ‘kataññutā’ in Pāli and is commonly coupled with ‘katavedi’, which is the expression of our thankfulness through thoughts, words and deeds. These virtues of knowing our debt of gratitude towards our benefactors – known or unknown – and trying to repay it, sustains a compassionate community. Let gratitude open our hearts and fill our minds with serenity.