"A century ago, Albert Schweitzer, theologian and Nobel Peace Prize winner, remarked, 'The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live. He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.' He was right: to learn gratitude is to know the 'mystery' of life. But he was also wrong in a very important way.
"Everyday there is reason to not feel grateful and not to practice gratitude. Terrible, distressing, painful, and sinful things happen all the time. The emotions of thanks elude, and it is easy to choose ingratitude. Yet, as I watch the news and fear grips my heart about whatever comes next, when a friend is diagnosed with cancer, when a loved one dies, that Bible verse, the one Albert Schweitzer alluded to, the one I memorized as a teenage, calls toward a better way: 'In all things, give thanks.' It does not say, as Schweitzer seems to have misquoted, 'For all things, give thanks.' Gratitude never calls us to give thanks for anything that is evil or unjust. Never for violence, lying, oppression, and suffering. Do not be grateful for these things.
"To know the mystery of life is to be grateful in all things. In.
"Sometimes the world turns on a preposition. To be grateful in these days is an act of resistance, of resilience.
"In all things. Give thanks.”
--Diana Butler Bass
What are you noticing about your experience of gratitude today?
for Mindful Monday
Source: Bass, Diana Butler. Grateful: The transformative power of giving thanks. New York: HarperOne. 2018.
Photo credit: "Resilience," Rose of Academe_, 2014.