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Gratitude is the Exclamation Point in our Life Story

Author Christopher de Vinck writes:

Gratitude is the exclamation point after the narration of our lives. Whether we are grateful for big things (life, liberty, love) or grateful for the small things (the flight of the heron, chocolate, the scent of the sea), we are the only creatures on earth who can articulate a sense of appreciation with words … of thanks.

According to a joint study between the World Health Organization and Unicef, one in nine people in the world don’t have access to safe and clean drinking water. I shower every morning, and I wash my car and sprinkle my lawn with water that I can drink.

According to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, one in nine people in the world go to bed hungry. I often can’t decide if I want an orange, a banana, a pear, an apple, or other fruit nestled in the bowl at the center of the kitchen table.

Elie Wiesel, the man who lost his family but not his faith during the Holocaust, wrote: “When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.”

In Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play Our Town, the character named Emily, having been given one day to return to the world after her death, calls out:

Goodbye Grover’s Corners—Mama and Papa. Goodbye to clocks ticking—and my butternut tree! —and Mama’s sunflowers—and food and coffee—and new-ironed dresses and hot baths—and sleeping and waking up! Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anyone to realize you! Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?

Source: Christopher de Vinck, “Tracing Thankfulness to Its Headwaters,” The Wall Street Journal Opinion (4-17-16)

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