Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

The Magic of Gratitude

As I pulled up to a line of cars stopped at a red light this morning, I saw a driver waiting to exit a parking lot. Seeing the long line of cars behind me, I stopped short of the exit to give him room to pull out into traffic when the line moved forward. He caught my eye and waved his thanks. I appreciated the acknowledgment and continued thinking about the day ahead.

When the light changed, he smiled and waved again as he entered the street. I smiled and waved back. My thoughts did not immediately return to my plans for the day, but lingered for a moment in the warm glow of his gratitude.

As he moved forward in front of my car, his hand came out of the window with one more friendly wave. I returned the wave, now grinning, my spirit delighted with joy and well being.

And this time, instead of returning to my thoughts about the day, I marveled at the magic of gratitude. His simple gestures shifted my focus from the business of living to the blessings of life. For the rest of the way home, I felt uplifted and happy, looking at my fellow drivers and other people on the street with compassion and sending them wishes for a good day.

Wow. Such a magnificent return on such a small investment. How cool is that?!

In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.  ~David Steinal-Rast

12 thoughts on “The Magic of Gratitude”

  1. And I get beeped at by a guy who KNEW the lane I was in was all moving over and decided my blind spot was the place to be anyway. Right place at the right time, I guess. And the right attitude, too!

  2. Such a simple thing, gratitude. So easy to ignore. No big deal. And yet, feeling grateful and expressing gratitude can make a routine day magical. And more than that, it just makes you feel good. Thank you for reminding me! Love the quote at the end of your post. It really sums it up! "It's not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy."

  3. Ah, CW, that happens too, doesn't it? Dark magic instead of light magic. Fortunately, drivers here in Portland tend generally to be very polite, even if not always very skilled.

  4. So true, Dixie. Gratitude is the easiest habit to develop and practice, and gives so much for so little. Glad you liked the quote–one of my favorites. And thank you for commenting–lovely to hear from you.

  5. So very cool, dear friend! You and I share an affinity for extending that courtesy to other drivers. Most times–notice the "most"–I enjoy the feelings you described but there are infrequent times when I stop to let someone out and giggle at the honks of irritation from behind me. "The devil made me do it!" Do you remember who famously said that?

  6. As I said to CW, Portland drivers tend to be polite. Not one driver behind me honked. Hmm, did Flip Wilson say that? Why can I remember that and I can't remember where I put my keys?!

  7. I loved this one Galen. Isn't it so true that giving the gift of love (or positive vision) and the receiving the gift of gratitude does make our life worthy. I am discovering that I see beauty in faces and better yet am discovering that when I acknowledge that beauty orally, the person I am talking to lights up. What a wonderful thing.

    Be well.

  8. What a lovely post of gratitude. Have a grateful attitude truly does bring one increased happiness. I loved the quote. Thanks for sharing your sweet moment of feeling gratitude. Hugs~

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