It’s nearly Thanksgiving here in the U.S., and I keep thinking about the blessing my uncle gave a couple of years ago based on 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Be grateful in all things.”
The idea is to be grateful in all things, not necessarily for all things. This was quite a moving prayer, as it was such an awful time for our family—both my mother and my uncle himself were seriously ill. We weren't at all happy about the challenges we were facing, but we did feel tremendously grateful for the outpouring of love and support from our friends, colleagues, and neighbors.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed by the many, many serious issues all over the world, I think about all of the fine people I've met through Mindful Teachers: mindfulness teachers, yoga instructors, educators from pre-K to post-graduate, nurses, doctors, social workers, and counselors. Different fields, different cultures, different beliefs, but a shared commitment to living and working with mindfulness and compassion.
Here are a variety of perspectives on gratitude from both faith-based and secular sources. There's a lot we can learn from going deeper into our own traditions, as well as from approaching other traditions with an open mind and an open heart.
(Teachers, there are suggested discussion questions at the end of the post.)