Gratitude, derived from the Latin word gratia means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. In some ways, gratitude encompasses all of these meanings.
Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. It is the major similarity across religions.
In Islam, gratitude is one of the highly esteemed virtues; it is a solid foundation of faith; it is admired and praised in both the Holy Quran and Sunnah (sayings from Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him).
The act of gratitude is a recognition of the blessings of God, whether in desirable or undesirable conditions. The Holy Quran is an ever-present reminder that life is a gift; a verse in the 55th Surah asks “which of your Lord’s blessings will you deny?”. Ramadan is a full month of gratitude embodied in fasting and prayer and culminating in feasting and charity.
The Eucharist (Greek for “thanksgiving”) is the central liturgy in Christianity; the spiritual ideal is to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances.”
A Jewish morning prayer states, “I thank you, living and enduring God, for you have restored my life to me: great is your faithfulness.” Just waking up in the morning is reason enough to give thanks, considering the alternative.
All of these is to establish the importance of gratitude as established by different religions. The act of gratitude is a proven recipe for lasting happiness. Research has shown that the act of gratitude is capable of improving general well-being, increasing resilience, strengthening social relationships, and reducing stress.
It has been established that the more grateful an individual becomes, the greater his/her overall well-being and life satisfaction. Believe it or not, gratitude enhances the immune system, lower blood pressure and enhances better sleep. Gratitude makes you more humane; you become more compassionate, and happier. A grateful heart also has a greater capacity for joy and positive emotions.
What are you grateful for this Christmas?
I am thankful for health, life, family, and friends.
Health and Life
This year has been a challenging one; the World Health Organisation reports that as at 9:39 am CET, there have been 1,694,128 deaths due to the Coronavirus globally. Apart from the pandemic claiming lives here in Nigeria, there have been many challenging experiences faced by many Nigerians; many lost their lives; not to mock those who have transcended to glory, I am grateful for life and health. We often don’t think about our health until we fall ill. Therefore, remember to be thankful for your health, your loved one’s health, and for healing when we are sick.
Family and friends
Christmas is always a time where we get together with family. We travel all across the country to be with the ones we love. We should be thankful for family and friends. For those who accept us, make us laugh, share meals with us and share life with us. Remember to be thankful for friends this holiday season and thank them for being there for you this year.
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