Gratitude and Grace

In November it has become an HYS tradition to focus on Gratitude.  We can gloss over the meaning of gratitude as simply “giving thanks”, but Gratitude is derived from the Latin word “gratia” which means gratefulness – but also grace or graciousness depending on the context.  There is true grace in Gratitude.  While the studies are relatively new, gratitude has been researched fairly extensively with multiple studies confirming that gratitude has proven to reduce negative pathologies (like depression, anxiety, or even drug abuse) increase satisfaction with life, increase one’s sense of meaning, and even improve relationships. The research has shown that true gratitude is more than simply appreciating someone’s help it is an orientation or viewpoint in which  one notices and appreciates the positive things in their lives.  This is where a daily and explicit practice of gratitude can lead to true grace.   If we make a habit of looking for, and paying attention to, the beautiful and positive things in our lives, along the way we often come to realize that the source of this beauty and goodness lies outside our actions, thoughts, or behaviors.  As a result gratitude helps us to connect to something larger than ourselves – to our community, to nature, to a higher power.