In this two part BLOG series, I’d like to discuss the concept of gratitude from a few perspectives, and then ask you to practice gratitude through tribal service to help our teammate, and my good friend, Jon Atwater, walk again.
Let’s begin with the definition from Random House’s Dictionary: “The quality of being or feeling grateful, thankful.” The middle English root of the word is “gratitudo,” which means thankfulness. The Latin root is gratus, meaning “pleasing.” This definition rings true, but leaves me feeling that it just nicks the surface of the truth behind the concept.
Words are limiting here. In order to express the full meaning, we must often use a number of words in a phrase or a sentence to get to the heart of things. So let’s look at the word “grace.” Grace comes from the same root as gratitude, yet means “elegance of beauty or form, manner, motion or action.” It can also mean “a pleasing quality, or mercy and pardon.” Seems like grace begets gratitude.
And what about another angle, the word “gratis?”Gratis means “to be free, or out of kindness.” When I put it all together, I think that an attitude of gratitude is freedom and grace. Now we are getting to the Kokoro Spirit of the concept. Gratitude must be more than being thankful. It must also mean to be free.
But free of what? Gratitude means to be free of anything that is not graceful.This would include those lower emotions, like judgment, attachment, desire, self-pity, loathing, anger, jealousy, pride, prejudice, scarcity and fear. Freedom of these burdens is grace, grit and gratitude.
Only when we are gracefully free of these self-induced burdens can we be in true gratitude to ourselves and others. This is why we see saints and enlightened masters expressing such selfless grace and gratitude toward humanity…because they are free. Ahhh, that feels right!
I’ll continue with this discussion in next week’s BLOG. In the interim, I ask you to consider a service and gratitude by supporting and helping our teammate, Jon Atwater, walk again. Jon is a good friend, and my former Master Brewer at CBC, who broke his neck last summer. He needs our help or he will not have the funds for the physical therapy. No therapy means a very good chance the window of opportunity will shut on his ability to walk again.
Please don’t take this as a pressured pitch from me – all I ask is for you to click here and ready his story. If you’d like to donate funds, or participate in the nationwide SEALFIT WOD on May 10th, I am grateful for your consideration and Jon will be even more grateful for the support. The entire SEALFIT – Unbeatable Mind tribe will be filled with that grace. We will also have an online auction for Jon that will launch on May 3rd.
Remember…courage doesn’t always roar!