“There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate-the genetic and neural fate-of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death” – Dr Oliver Sacks “Gratitude”.

Be grateful for what you have – You never know when you, or it, might be gone forever.

Sometimes, as with most things, it’s easier said than done…

…Don’t you hate it when people are ungrateful?

You open the door for them, and they don’t say thank you. Or you let them out on the road at a junction and they don’t wave at you?

It’s not good when you don’t feel appreciated.

The funny thing is, many of us are ungrateful to ourselves on a regular basis – and we don’t even bat an eyelid.

Not only is it important to say thank you to others, but it is also important to pay thanks for our lives, and the good times we have had.

Even in bad times, we can find reasons to be grateful. Think of the person you are today – without the hardships in life you would not be you.

Gratitude gives us a chance enjoy what we have, and appreciate its value. Without gratitude how do we measure our lives? How do we look back at what we have been through with understanding of our situation without gratitude?

Let me switch this around a different way … How easy is it to feel down about your situation? How many people are currently in a situation worse than yours? Get some perspective and appreciate what you have.

Gratitude can improve your health, your emotions and your personal connections and better sleep. Sleep quality has been shown to improve by 25% in people who positively engaged in and applied gratitude on a daily basis (Blessings vs. Burdens, 2003).

The health benefits of practicing gratitude  can vary widely from improved mental health to improved physical health including a reduction in the blood pressure of people with hypertension (high blood pressure) by up to 35% (Gratitude : Effects on perspectives and blood pressure, 2007).

When we talk about being men of good character and virtue, practicing gratitude is one of the most essential aspects that we should be considering.

Not everything in your life will be good-not everything bad-however, it is important to be grateful of all the things that have shaped your life. You would not be who you are without what went before.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson