From: 30 Days to a Better Man Day
Cultivate Your Gratitude
The following story ran in a newspaper some years ago:
The District of Columbia police auctioned off about 100 unclaimed bicycles Friday. “One dollar,” said an 11-year-old boy as the bidding opened on the first bike. The bidding, however, went much higher. “One dollar,” the boy repeated hopefully each time another bike came up.
The auctioneer, who had been auctioning stolen or lost bikes for 43 years, noticed that the boy’s hopes seemed to soar higher whenever a racer-type bicycle was put up.
Then there was just one racer left. The bidding went to eight dollars. “Sold to that boy over there for nine dollars!” said the auctioneer. He took eight dollars from his own pocket and asked the boy for his dollar. The youngster turned it over in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters-took his bike, and started to leave. But he went only a few feet. Carefully parking his new possession, he went back, gratefully threw his arms around the auctioneer’s neck, and cried.
When was the last time you felt gratitude as profoundly as this little boy did?
Aesop said, “Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” Indeed, gratitude is one of the hallmarks of a life lived well. It is a virtue that profoundly impacts your personal happiness and the quality of your relationships.
We often assume that people either get thanks from other people or that they just somehow know how grateful we are for what they do. We are usually wrong on both counts.
Gratitude is inextricably tied up with the virtue of humility. Gratitude shows that we’re paying attention to the acts of service people perform for us and that we truly understand how those acts make our life better, easier, and happier.