How do we live gratefully in these painful times? Turn on the tv, read the news, listen to a podcast/radio talk show, canvass for a candidate, talk to a friend and we may wring our hands feeling heightened anxiety, righteous anger, or both. But gratefulness? Maybe a church or synagogue offers solace and engagement. Maybe a yoga class or meditation workshop invites steadiness and clarity. Maybe the company of friends and family shore us up with laughter and warmth. Maybe civic engagement or political activism stems the rising tide of sadness about the rancor and division in our nation.
These choices all reinforce me. And I inevitably turn to learn more.
Gratefulness, a bedrock belief that all life is a gift, more specifically, every moment is gratuitous, it’s extra, changes the way we live. Brother David Steindl-Rast invites us to live each day as if it is the first and the last day of our life saying that would be a day well spent. But how?
Surprise is the start of gratefulness. Poet Mary Oli