Saturday 3 January 2015

Thank You, Dorothy, That was Delicious!

"Develop an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for everything that happens to you..." (Brian Tracy)

On Boxing Day, we were sitting at my parents' dining room table digesting a second Christmas dinner when my sister Laurie asked:  "Why Dad do you never thank Mom for a delicious dinner?  It doesn't matter whether she feeds you a turkey dinner with all the trimmings or wieners and beans, you never say thank you." (paraphrased)

I pointed out that that was not the case with our Grandad Tufts.  As Mom said:  "Whenever Grandad ate a meal, he would say to Grandma:  'Thank you very much, Dorothy, that was delicious.'  Grandma could make him two peas and he would say:  'Thank you very much, Dorothy, that was delicious.'" Grandad practised gratitude.  Not surprisingly, he was a happy person.  And he lived a long life.    

According to motivational guru Zig Zigler, without gratitude, happiness is rare.  When we neglect to require our children to say please and thank you, to be aware of their blessings, their is a much greater chance we will raise unhappy children.  Zig Zigler, one of eleven children, was dirt poor.  He lost his father at the tender age of six.  His mother, however, always made sure that her children knew that she loved them and that God loved them.  She also taught them a strong work ethic.  "Her formula of work, love and faith made their difficult lives easier," according to Zigler.

Zigler suffered a family tragedy when his young daughter Suzan passed away as a child.  At the funeral, even though he was grieving, he said:  "We have no regrets.  She knew we loved her."  The bereaved father, shook hands and smiled at the guests, even offering others solace.  Zigler never neglected to count his blessings.  

Something as simple as keeping a gratitude journal can make us aware of our blessings.  And we don't have to wait for the big things in life to make us happy; we can rejoice in the small things. Publicist Malcolm Margolin talked about making an observation during a rainstorm:  "The sight of hundreds of blades of grass bowing down and popping back up like piano keys strikes me as one of the merriest sights in the world."  

Gratitude doesn't just make us happier but also healthier, building our immunity system, strengthening our heart and improving our sleep habits.  So, the next time your wife cooks you a turkey dinner (or wieners and beans), take the time to say thank you.  You'll be a happier person because of it (so will your wife).

For more information read Attitudes of Gratitude by M.J. Ryan at

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