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May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A List of Gratitudes - a Thanksgiving

Making a list of gratitudes is an exercise that holds renewed power each time it is repeated. One can never be too conscious of everything there is for which to be grateful. So make a gratitude list today... and make another one next month, or maybe next week, or maybe tomorrow. Don't take ANYTHING for granted... start the list with "being alive," and "being ME." List EVERYTHING there is to be grateful for... NO Assumptions! NO Expectations!

While you're working on your list, let me share mine: I'm grateful to be alive and ME in this instant. I'm grateful for everything that has ever occurred to bring me to this moment of being exactly who I am today. I'm grateful to my distant ancestors who survived eons of sameness punctuated by moments of terror... who fought saber tooth tigers and barely survived each winter in order to pass down the genes that make me who I am today. I am grateful to my father's father who sailed from China alone as a young boy in the hold of a sailing ship, bringing my genes from desperate hunger to the opportunity of America. I am grateful to my father's mother and her ancestors who brought their part of my biological inheritance from Holland to "New Amsterdam." I am grateful to my mother's parents who brought their share of my genes from an unhappy Germany to a new beginning in Connecticut. I am grateful to my parents for choosing to bring me into the world - 17 years after my only sibling, and at an age when most couples of their generation had completed their childbearing. Just genetically, my chances of being ME are infinitesimally small.

I am grateful for everything my parents did and didn't do. I am grateful for the unconditional love I received from each of them. I am grateful for the lessons of my father's heavy drinking, and my mother's fear of strangers. I am grateful both for the joy of my mother's generous readings and other attentions to me, and for the pain my isolated early childhood later caused me. I am grateful even for the bullying and other painful experiences of my youth, as each one made me the person I am today. I am grateful for every success and every failure I have ever had... every new love and every divorce... every promotion and every firing... every smile and every tear.

There is simply nothing NOT to be grateful for.


  1. So true!For the first time in my life I have come to realize I too am Grateful to my parents! It is because of my father committing suicide leaving my mother with 6 children to raise, causing her to turn to alcohol which caused problems in the family. Then I had a child at the age of 16! I was forced to become a strong person at a very early age. Since then I have faced 2 divorce's, painful relationships,and thankfully, with God's help, all my children (5) and I have made it, because of my strength, which was because of my parents! Facing the problems and going through the pain made me the person I am today! I am GRATEFUL

  2. ....something I thought I would never say....I am grateful for the experiences I have had struggling with drug addiction,for all the pain I felt,the losses,the desperation.All of the above have caused me to seek God on a deeper level;not as it sounds like a good idea,but now as a complete reliance to continue on my path of recovery.I had to die in order to start living.My past has become an asset.I no longer put a label of "good" or "bad" on life's experiences.God knows what I need to be the man He created me to be.I don't,and for the first time in my life,my life is in His hands.

  3. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by my life experiences and I wish I could have it differently or easier. I have come to understand that I am unique and that God created me for a purpose, and that is why I have be fortunate to experience those things. My prayer now is that 'may the will of God be done in life, so that I live to fully fulfill God's purpose for my life'. I strive to fulfill it every second because tomorrow does not belong to me.

  4. There are times that I feel it's hard to be grateful but reading all of this has just made me grateful for things I never thought I would be grateful for,like the death of my mother at such a young age,I am grateful for all the pain I have gone through in life now I am able to deal with much more pain,i am grateful for my trailer house for giving my husband and I and kids a plce to live I am grateful for everything now
    Thank You

  5. I'm starting a new tradition this Thanksgiving. I plan to ask everyone to make an entry into what will be our "Thanksgiving Gratitude Journal". I think it has the potential to become a bit of family history, as well as an opportunity for each of us to recognize our blessings.

  6. I still find it hard to be grateful for one very bad thing happening early in life that to this day affects me daily. .......But I'm trying to. ALL the above statements help
    influence me. Thanks and God bless you.

  7. WOW...sounds like my background...Dutch, German, father drinking etc. and yes I am thankful for his drinking, smoking, my mother's physical abuse and jealousy of others, including me because I learned not to be that way, making me a better person and being able to teach my children the right way to live and enjoy life and be happy and now to pass that on to my grandchildren.

  8. Thank you, Jonathan and all. I, too, have had my share of life's lessons, and from a very early age too, like so many. Though I can't go so far as to say I am grateful, I can say I've made peace with the past, and someday, if the gratitude comes, I'll be there to embrace it.

    Thanks again, everyone.

  9. i am grateful for JLH website

  10. I had life and aspirations, growth and gratitude. But something went terribly wrong and I lost it all. Very fragile & lost. My current goal is to find one positive affirmation. I chose, "I don't want to die". I don't. I just don't know how to live anymore. I am very grateful for an amazing therapist. Also for the small yet beautiful things all around me. The birds, water, the wind, these still bring me joy and peace.

  11. This will sound so strange but I am grateful I lost my husband early on in marriage I was totally dependent on my wonderful husband whose favorite phrase to me was 'don't worry I'll sort it out". Loosing him made me grow up and learn to depend on God and God alone. I have had 6 major surgeries since them which I know only God saw me through. Today I'm am an unshakable woman afraid of Nothing for I have come to learn that my blessings are always hidden in my challenges. So I say to LIFE bring it on I am not a conqueror but more than a conqueror.

  12. this is just what i needed to hear. you are soooo right there is absolutely NOTHING to NOT be grateful for!! what a great way to turn negativity into positivity!! ♥ PEACE.

  13. It's sometimes hard to say thank you Lord. But I came to realise that with God there's no perhaps...all has a purpose. B e either a situation created by God or the Devil or your other enimies...If choose we are God's people, when we live a life of thanks giving...we will recognise that unless you go for a hard training, you'll never become a good soldier. I am very thankful for my parents...brought up by a step dad who never put a child in his lap...a man of more 20 children of his own, lover of money...never went to anyone's school...but if so I am still thankful because this environment taught to be strong when people hate you, humiliate you...I am thankful also for my mother being a lover of the Bible, she taught to always seek answers on it and be merciful...forgive and love even your enimies....Today, I cannot humiliate, bully or hate because I know how it feels like...

    I thank God for my grand parents, who came from Europe to Africa, I thank my other groundparents from africa who also gave their genes and a most of their roots...I thank God for all men and women who share their testemonies as we'll all live by it...Keep on doing the loveable work...God Bless you all

  14. I am not grateful for the disabilities my daughter developed and all the pain it has caused her for more than 20 years.
    I am down right pissed off and mad as hell at the notion that this is all part of some bigger plan. I know I am a stubborn willful son of a bitch.
    I am grateful for the strength, persistence, and determination my daughter displays on a daily basis as she succeeds in spite of her physical challenges.
    She is my hero and I am so grateful for her.
    I am also grateful for being able to live sober one day at a time for the past 27 plus years, while the intellectual and gut understanding that no matter what challenges I encounter, picking up a drink will not make anything better.
    All for today

  15. I learned many years ago that everything I went through in life was a wonderful lesson learned. It took overcoming my addiction to realize, If I never went through my addiction I would never be able to assist others in overcoming there addictions. I now know my entire life was the right schooling I needed to be the person I am today and I am thankful to every individual and situation God put in my path of life. Now my life knowledge is the experience to assist others to overcome the darkness and destruction in there lives, and introduce them to the most high god who is always there with the light and direction, wisdom to overcome.

  16. I love the idea of asking everyone at thanksgiving to share in a journal what it is they are thankful for, in my world of major family changes and loss this has potential to create a treasured tradition for generations.

  17. I have learned that being truly grateful requires more than just affirming it verbally or in writing. Being grateful requires that it be demonstrated in one's action for that which they are truly grateful for. I can say I am grateful for having my daughter in my life but if I only say it and not show it by offering her my love and care my gratitude is meaningless. Gratitude for me requires that it be affirmed by my actions. I always try to walk the walk because if I only talk the talk my gratitude has no substance and only serves to feed my self centeredness.

  18. Regarding "Being grateful requires that it be demonstrated in one's action," I completely agree that the best demonstration of one's gratitude is service to others. However, it is rare that there is an opportunity for the service to relate directly to the particular gift we are conscious of being grateful for.

    There are many ways to "pay forward" our gratitude. Being grateful that I have enough food to eat, I could offer my services to a soup kitchen for the homeless, but I could also send money to help feed children in Africa, or become politically active in support of ensuring that no American child goes hungry.

  19. I am grateful that i decided to subscribe in your daily inspiration. I look forward everyday of reading this. i always post some of the quotations in my fb account. thank you for inspiring me.

  20. I have been receiving daily quotes from this website for many years and it has truly made a difference in my life. To really take each day as it comes and to be truly thankful for my life and the people in it has made me who I am today. Thank you Johnathan Lockwood Huie for making each day purposeful.

  21. thank you for all the inspirational messages i have been receiving from you. God bless you always.

  22. Oh yes! reading all these comments made me realize how grateful I am for so many blessings God has given me, even though I don't deserve them. I am grateful for my family! for my parents! for my friends, and who ever has helped me in my life's journey or disappointed me or hurt me or being jealous of me. Thank Johnathan for sharing this with us. God bless you all.

  23. Anonymous- I am grateful for the life I have, the disappointments, trials and many sleepless nights.Where I worried about things that I have no control over. I survive thank God. I am forever grateful.

  24. I am so grateful to have found you Jonathan, every day I wait for your motivation and inspirational messages.
    stay blessed


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