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Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel on the Power of Living with Gratitude

Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel on the Power of Living with Gratitude

Few have understood the power of giving thanks as thoroughly as Elie Wiesel, Holo­caust survivor and novelist. Here’s the transcript of what Wiesel said on an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s show:

OPRAH: There may be no better person than you to speak about living with gratitude. Despite all the tragedy you've witnessed, do you still have a place inside you for gratefulness?

ELIE: Absolutely. Right after the war, I went around telling people, "Thank you just for living, for being human." And to this day, the words that come most frequently from my lips are, "Thank you." When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be de­fined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.

OPRAH: Does having seen the worst of humanity make you more grateful for ordinary occurrences?

ELIE: For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.

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