It is noteworthy that the day is Gratitude Day rather than Gratefulness Day. We may be grateful for a number of things in our life: the warmth of the sun on our face, the smell of the ocean, the taste of our morning coffee, or the greeting waved out by a neighbour.
Gratitude goes further. Gratitude is a state of mind that we take with us into the world. It has an inner motivation that is not dependent upon an external event or circumstance to stimulate a feeling of gratefulness.
World Gratitude Day was suggested by the spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy in 1965 when he proposed a day of thanks that the whole world could celebrate.
Sri Chinmoy has also been a light in seeking for peace in the world. Chinmoy tells us that “It is only through inner peace that we can have true outer peace.” If we attempt peace without this inner peace, he cautions us to “…not try to change the world. You will fail. Try to love the world. Lo, the world is changed, changed forever.”
Furthermore, Chinmoy has advice for us that links the twin themes of today – peace and gratitude. He tells us:
“Gratitude can transform our life, sooner than anything else.”
Hence, through gratitude we can discover an inner peace. That inner peace enables us to love the world, thus changing the world, and so gaining peace.
Let us remind ourselves today of the connections between gratitude and peace and also between our own inner peace and the peace of the world.
Note:1. The words gratitude and grace both derive from the same etymological root – meaning to favour.