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John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” Psychologists suggest that having a sense about gratitude makes people nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps people make more friends, deepens their existing relationships, and improves their moral behavior.

Is moral behavior demonstrated by our spiritual leaders, our elected officials, our business leaders, or our society exemplified through their relationships with others? This is a question that Americans are faced with today. We owe it to future generations to answer this question because if we do not, they will be faced with a dark society absent of sustainable relationships

American self-help author Melody Beatie said, “gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity….it turns a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” So, improving our moral behavior and deepening our existing relationships should be the aspiration of humanity in general. What we do for each other and how we express peace and happiness in our society, creates a positive vision for tomorrow. Happiness and joy are the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude which sustains the present and future generations to come.

In life all of us will speak ill words about something or someone and then regret it.  However, there is nothing we can do to undo what we said. We can only express our feelings about how sorry we are to those we failed and then strive to go forward with a greater sense of humility and purpose in life and with gratitude to those who stood with us during a very difficult chapter in our lives. The issue raised by our attitude towards gratitude should stimulate positive moral behavior as we reach out to help the disinherited. Those who have not the resources that we might possess.

Finally, gratitude is more than an expression of words to an individual or individuals. Gratitude is expressed in our moral behavior in our relationships. How we treat one another, how we treat our animals or how we treat our environment are expressions of our gratitude–or lack thereof. So, Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten