There’s a difference between feeling thankful and giving thanks. We can feel thankful passively, almost without noticing, but giving thanks is more active–and ultimately more deeply satisfying. Saying grace at the beginning of a meal; telling a friend how much they mean to us; even exclaiming our awe at the beauty of a snow-spotted sunset: expressing our thanks externally brings gratitude into consciousness, and from there it can blossom into the world.
Too often we feel thankful but don’t give thanks. Keeping gratitude to ourselves not only robs others of sharing in our appreciation: it also prevents us from feeling our gratitude fully.
My challenge to you, today: dare to express your gratitude, and thank someone for whatever it is about them that you appreciate. Giving thanks just might be the greatest gift you can give–both to the people you love and to yourself.