• Abigail

The Importance of Gratitude

As the holiday season ramps up, it's really important to not get too consumed by the twinkly lights, flashy presents, and sugary treats. It might seem like a nuisance to hear me reiterate "the true meaning" of the holiday season. Alas, I will say it anyway. The most important part of the holiday season is gratitude. After everyone has had a difficult year, it might seem nearly impossible to find a handful of things to be grateful for. Fortunately, I am here to help explain gratitude and its importance.

The definition of gratitude is the act of being thankful as well as the appreciation for kindness. This appreciation can be expressed through a simple, "thank you," or returning the kindness in the same capacity. However, acts of kindness are not always blatantly obvious and can be easily overlooked, should one be consumed in personal problems. Pay attention to those in your life who ask about your day without being prompted, or remember something about you that you shared with them a while ago. Taking up a little bit of space in someone's thoughts is definitely something to be grateful for because it shows they care, and in this case, you can return the favor.

Gratitude can get trickier when you are not surrounded by loved ones or when they are at a distance. Here, there are still things to be grateful for. A home, an education, and family, blood relation or not, are the aspects of life that are often overlooked when they are truly integral to how we live and evolve. However normal and mundane your school or home may seem, they are a privilege to have. At this point, what I am saying might sound like a given. You may already know your privilege and you may already be saying you are thankful for it. But, others must be reminded to do the same.

When life gets difficult, it is harder to find the bright side. Fortunately, there is always a bright side. This is different from constant positivity or incessant optimism. Holding on to hope as things seem bleak will make life's trials and tribulations a tad less painful. Reminding yourself of the positives in your life, the small acts of kindness from others, and the simple necessities you are able to have will improve your outlook on the future while staying grateful for what is in the present.

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