Three reflections on gratitude

1. It helps shed baggage and declutter. Marie Kondo is a world expert in organizing homes, a crucial part of which is getting rid of clutter. In order to discard something, she asks us to thank it for how well it served us in the past. She suggests that we actually pick up the item and say the words, “Thank you for serving me well”. Our gratitude gives us the freedom to let things go, without a sense of guilt. This extends to emotional baggage as well – blame, resentment or addictive habits.

2. It helps us learn from other people’s wisdom. When somebody else’s wisdom is shared with us, it becomes our own provided we thank them for it. One is called either a thief or a patron, depending on whether he expresses gratitude. The extent to which we are grateful determines how much wisdom is accessible to us.

3. Thanksgiving is a festival to celebrate gratitude. It is a time when people (mostly in the US) gather with loved ones to be grateful for what they value the most. In this age largely corrupted by commerce, I am grateful for Seth Godin’s Thanksgiving Reader – something that helps us remember and cherish the essence of this festival. Something to show us that it could be done differently.

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