The discipline of gratitude reminds us how utterly dependent we are on the people and world around us for everything that matters. From this flows an ethic of gratitude that obligates us to create a future that justifies an increasing sense of gratitude from the human family as a whole. The ethic of gratitude demands that we nurture the world that nurtures us in return. It is our duty to foster the kind of environment that we want to take in, and therefore become.
– Galen Guengerich, “The Heart of Our Faith”
May gratitude carry us over the rocky places. May we remember to say thanks for the smallest gestures. For the simplest nourishment. For the hand. The comfort. The roof. The healthy parts.
Thanks to the fighters. The ones who take on the dangerous work. Who excavate the hidden graves. Conduct research on hunger, violence, trauma. Share their findings, speak the names, guide our practices. The eco-warriors. The anarchists. The witnesses holding vigil at the pipeline, at the refugee camp, at the courthouse. The cash bail activists, the public defenders, the protestors, the disruptors.
Also the artists. The ones who transform the raw stuff, the detritus, the pebbled sand, the blank canvas, the blank page. Who slice the ends and bend the middle and craft a boat that carries the eye to a new horizon.
Also the lovers. The ones who open the arms, the door, a place at the table. Who set the plate, fill the glass. Who offer a shoulder and listen well enough to hold. Who stroke the sore muscle. Kiss the bruised temper. Whisper a promise they have the capacity to keep.
Also the animal keepers. The ones who refuse the hierarchy of creatures. Who rage against cruelty. Who build the shelters and carry treats and speak in guinea pig Latin.
Who will you thank today?
The neighbor? The sailor? The mail carrier? The bank teller?
The utility worker? The lab tech? The van driver? The train conductor?
The nurse? The pharmacist? The checkout clerk? The server?
The teacher? The counselor?
The faraway friend?
Find a reason. Speak the thanks.
May gratitude carry us.