Thanks - Giving: The Five Best Quotes on Gratitude from the Ancient Philosophers
There is one thing the ancient philosophers, modern mystics, psychologists and mindfulness experts all agree on: The key to a happy life, to living intentionally.... is to walk on this earth in gratitude. "Giving thanks" is the expression of gratitude, and gratitude is the gateway to happiness.
The link between gratitude and happiness is not a new idea, but one that is as old as humankind's oldest known philosophers. So we've put together a few of the best, and most ancient quotes on gratitude for Thanksgiving.
Here are five of the most potent and enduring capsules of wisdom our species has produced:
1) "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."
— Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC), More commonly known in the modern day as just “Cicero” was a great Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist.
2) "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
— Meister Eckhart (1260-1329) a German theologian, philosopher and mystic.
3) "People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering... Now, let us acknowledge the wonder of our physical incarnation— that we are here, in these particular bodies, at this particular time, in these particular circumstances. May we never take for granted the gift of our individuality. "
— Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430) Was a Latin philosopher and theologian from the Africa Province of the Roman Empire and is generally considered one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all times. His writings were influential in the development of Western Christianity.
4) "Gratitude is the sign of noble souls."
-Aesop (620–564 BC) was a fabulist or story teller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables.
5) "A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things."
-Plato (423 BC– 348 BC) was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world.
6) *Bonus: “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
-Henri Frédéric Amiel (27 September 1821 – 11 May 1881) was a Swiss philosopher, poet and critic.
When we allow our hearts to open to the universe's flow of love, gratitude comes with that flow. Gratitude for being alive, for just existing, for just being in the flow of the adventure of life. Gratitude for the Sun that gives us life. Gratitude for the Earth that gives us our home in the universe. Gratitude for the people that you love, and for those who share your journey through life.
Gratitude flows unimpeded from an open heart. When you allow it, it flows as freely as the sunshine, unobstructed by judgments or conditions.