A few weeks ago, President Monson spoke on The Divine Gift of Gratitude. Something he said caught my attention, and I’ve been mulling it over in my mind ever since. “If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” That “someone” was Cicero.
What a profound concept! Gratitude is the parent of all other virtues?! Then if we can figure out how to be grateful (I don’t know about all the other virtues, but I know I can show gratitude if I put my mind to it), then we have solved the issue of how to be patient, loving, kind, etc.
So I’ve done a little experimenting in my own life. I was somewhat skeptical at first, I must admit–I mean, how can being grateful help me love my enemies? But it’s been working pretty well so far. I recently have tried the gratitude trick out in two instances: 1) when I was feeling pretty impatient, wanting things to happen that weren’t happening (lacked virtue: patience), and 2) when someone I depend on in a joint responsibility has been consistently irresponsible (lacked virtue: love). In both cases, stepping back and thinking of what I could be grateful for in the situation was immensely helpful. It calmed me down, helped me see the bigger picture, showed me that there were good things/positive attributes to look at, and, in short, helped me to be more patient and loving!
I’m excited to see how gratitude continues to help me as I apply it in more situations. How grateful I am for a prophet who knows what I need in my daily life.