02. Thanks

Thanks: the practice of gratitude and appreciation, awakening to the goodness of God.

4 responses to “02. Thanks

  1. Here’s a simple song of thanks:

  2. A Prayer

    Thanks
    If I did not give thanks,
    I would shrink this gracious, ever-growing avalanche of extravagant gifts
    Into a tiny trickle of triviality.
    In ignorance, I would shrivel each gift to invisibility.
    In arrogance, I would discount it as an entitlement.
    In hurry and lust, I would consume it without ever even tasting it.

    If I did not give thanks,
    I would turn you into an automatic automated dispenser,
    Or a servant-genii,
    Or dumb luck,
    Or … whatever.

    If I did not give thanks,
    I would render myself a spoiled brat,
    A cold brick,
    A stupid suck,
    A prideful vortex of gluttonous greed,
    Or a moral black hole into which everything goes,
    But from which nothing comes.
    I would be a dumb, sub-animal beast,
    Eating everything and producing nothing
    Except excrement, lots of excrement.
    So I will give thanks, first of all,
    For the blessing and gift of thanksgiving.
    Thank you! Thank you! Thanks!

    Thanks for my body,
    For these borrowed atoms and molecules, which I was given,
    Which I am using,
    Which I will one day release.
    Thanks for my health,
    For the billions of miraculous activations and reactions
    Of respiration, digestion, circulation, purification,
    Mobilization, cogitation, and reparation –
    The unrecognized things big and small that are going right,
    Which I can so easily forget when
    One or two little things go a little wrong.
    For this civilization of 60 trillion cells that bears my name,
    For the united cells, organs, and systems that constitute me,
    For the space and time I am given in which to happen,
    For this breath, this heartbeat, this thought, this sensation,
    Thank you! Thank you! Thanks!

    Thanks for my soul, my story,
    For where/who/how I’ve been, and where/who/how I am,
    And where/who/how I can be from here.
    What a mixture of strengths and weaknesses I am!
    What a mixture of joys and griefs, virtues and vices,
    Angel and monster, failures and successes!
    Thank you for how far I’ve come, and thank you
    That my soul-story is not finished yet.
    For the mystery of me, who I was, am, and will be,
    Thank you! Thank you! Thanks!

    Thanks for the soul-stories of others,
    Each unique, each beloved by you,
    Each part of the network of which I too am part.
    Thank you for family, ancestors, peers, descendants,
    Each one a part of the beautiful whole across time and space.
    Thank you for friends, each of us a gift to one another,
    Each of us drawn to good in the other.
    Thank you for strangers, friends as yet unmet,
    Who are friends and family to others we don’t know,
    But just as precious.
    Thank you even for enemies, for those who dislike me,
    Oppose me, misunderstand or misjudge me,
    Wishing me failure or ill,
    For they too are a gift. Without them, and without every trial,
    Setback, obstacle, resistance, or frustration in my life,
    I would be less than I am,
    And I would become less than I will become,
    Thanks to their challenge to me.
    And perhaps even enemies can someday be friends.
    So for all people to whom I am connected,
    Thank you! Thank you! Thanks!

    Thanks for what I have.
    Food for today and more.
    If there were nothing else, this would be enough.
    Home and all it contains.
    If there were nothing else, this would be enough.
    A measure of safety.
    If there were nothing else, this would be enough.
    Thanks for things and services invented and produced by others
    Yet now available to me,
    Things and services I could never create for myself,
    And so things and services that bind me to others in gratitude:
    Machinery and technology for traveling and communicating,
    For working and learning, for comfort and health,
    Conveniences and entertainments, tools and toys,
    So many things that surround me, even now.
    Thank you for these things, for those that made them and
    Those that made them available. Thanks.

    Thank you for work, hobbies, favorite things,
    Memories, dreams, knowledge, appreciation …
    A thousand pleasures and treasures that I so easily take for granted.
    Thank you for my fellow creatures, for birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians,
    For fish and insects, creatures too small to be seen,
    For plants and trees.
    For rocks, soil, mountains, plains, deserts, forests, meadows,
    For springs, streams, rivers, seas, clouds, and fog,
    For seasons, weather, sun and moon,
    For the wonder of this world, my home,
    I thank you, and feel I have not begun to scratch the surface.

    So now, I slow down and go back over each of these things …
    Body, soul and story, others, things, experiences,
    And I name and specify so that gratefulness grows,
    Mounts up, explodes.
    And then I slow down even more, and go back again …
    And soon, I cannot contain my joy.
    For this joy, too,
    Thank you! Thank you! Thanks!

    From you, Most Generous One, all these blessings flow,
    To me, and to all creatures here below.
    Through all these gifts, I perceive you,
    The giver.
    Thanks! Thank you! Thank you!
    You!

  3. I love Gratefulness.org for daily reminders to be grateful from influential souls throughout history.

  4. From Emergent Village daily email, 25 April 2011:

    Kissing the shoreline

    There’ll be days like this, my momma said.
    When you open your hands to catch
    and wind up with only blisters and bruises;
    When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly
    and the very people you want to save are the ones standing on your cape;
    When your boots will fill with rain, and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment.
    And those are the very days you have all the more reason to say thank you.
    Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way
    the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline,
    no matter how many times it’s swept away.

    Sarah Kay
    spoken word poet and founder of Project V.O.I.C.E.

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