My Gratitude Tested

Gratitude can be one of the easiest character traits to forget, but one of the most most rewarding to remember.

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I'd like to think of myself as a mostly selfless person. Or I strive to be at least. I love giving gifts in physical and emotional forms. But sometimes I catch myself thinking: "What have I done for someone else recently?" Or "Wow, I'm really being a Taker right now." And it makes me feel less whole.

Recently, my gratitude was tested while on vacation. Sure, it's great to relax. But after visiting a number of amazing museums and shops and I started to feel that "take take take" feeling. So I decided to practice gratitude for a few friends and family back home. It was so much more fun to add the challenge of thinking what others might want, instead of just myself. I returned with a few small gifts and it felt great to show my appreciation for those relationships. 

This Collaboration question, and especially the opportunity to reflect on my own character traits, reminds me how rewarding it is to express gratitude and thanks. And I'd love to improve that trait in myself even further.

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Photo of Jennifer Gaspar- Santos

Harvard Medical School would also agree: http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
"In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships."

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