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What's your attitude toward gratitude?

By John C. Maxwell | November 22, 2010
What's your attitude toward gratitude?

Here in the United States, this is the time of year when we celebrate Thanksgiving. This Thursday, millions of Americans will pause from work for this holiday. For some, it’s just a day to skip work, eat too much, and watch a lot of sports on TV. But for many, Thanksgiving is a day to remember our blessings and offer thanks to God and others who were there when we needed them.
On Twitter this week, I’m sharing some of my favorite short (140 characters or less) quotes on gratitude. But since so much has been said about thankfulness that doesn’t fit into 140 characters, I’ve had to leave out a number of wonderful quotes and illustrations. So I’ve decided to share them here. Below you’ll find some of my favorite longer quotes on the subject of gratitude. I hope they inspire you to be thankful during this season.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues but the mother of all the rest.


Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

–Charles Dickens

The devil doesn’t have to steal anything from you, all he has to do is make you take it for granted.

–Max Lucado

I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days during his early adult life. Darkness would make him more appreciative of sight; silence would teach him the joys of sound.

–Helen Keller (blind & deaf from an early age)

Spending a little time calculating the number of things that go right is a simple but powerful way to reactivate our sense of wonder and gratitude.

–Richard Carlson

Only a small percentage of people are continually successful over the long run. These outstanding few recognize that every success comes through the assistance of many other people – and they are continually grateful for this support. Conversely, many people whose success stops at some point are in that position because they have cut themselves off from everyone who has helped them. They view themselves as the sole source of their achievements. As they become more self-centered and isolated, they lose their creativity and ability to succeed. Continually acknowledge others’ contributions, and you will automatically create room in your mind and in the world for much greater success. You will be motivated to achieve even more for those who have helped you. Focus on appreciating and thanking others, and the conditions will always grow to support your increasing success.

-Dan Sullivan and Catherine Nomura

From the Talmud: He who gives should never remember; he who receives should never forget.

When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.

–Elie Wiesel

Silent gratitude isn’t much good to anyone.

-Gladys Bronwyn Stern

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