Last May 12, the world celebrated Mother’s Day. It is a special day when we honor all the sacrifices and hard work of our mothers to help us be the best people we can be. A friend of mine shared with me how grateful he was to his mom because she single-handedly raised him. He would not be the successful man that he is today if not for his mother.
Hearing the word “grateful”, I pondered, how different it is from thankfulness? Both express appreciation and acknowledgement of a good deed. Are they one and the same?
If you dig deeper, you cannot equate the two. Much to the surprise of many, they are two different things.
Thankfulness is more on the superficial side because it is an automatic response. When someone extends help to you in carrying your bags or assists you with your chores in the house, you simply say “thank you.” You say it as a sign of your acknowledgement of something good or kind done for you. A mere ‘have a nice day” or ‘I wish you well’ can elicit thankfulness.
Gratitude takes us on a deeper level. It is innate and has left a mark in your heart. The kind act created a huge impact on your life that you will not forget what has been done. Gratitude is love, commitment and appreciation all wrapped in one. Your expression of gratitude is manifested beyond words but more in your actions.
A friend of mine went through depression due to financial challenges. She was at the lowest point of her life. Something came along that changed her life, big time! Today, she serves in her community, she is very generous with her resources because of one thing – GRATITUDE. She is grateful that when she was down, people were there to lift her up. It is now time for her to give back and lift others.
Thankfulness and gratitude are never equal but can work together. What may start as thankfulness could end up as gratitude.
“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” – Henri Frederic Amiel