Gratitude is something that I think a lot of us have lost. We just don't think about it anymore. We look at the things that happen to us in our day to day lives, and we don't see the good things. We wonder, "Why am I so unlucky as to have this happen to me?", Why couldn't I have gotten THAT thing? That's what I really wanted.". We don't see the thing we do have, and we don't see the wonderful things that we get. I'm not just talking about material things, or thanking the people in our lives who have given things to us, but thanking the Gods for making it possible.
That jerk who cut you off this morning? I'm betting the reaction was more "@*# you, !@*&#^*!" than anything else. That's an initial reaction, and it's a reaction to fear and adrenaline, and that it fine. After that, though, we should take the time to say a quick little prayer of thanks. This isn't to say that you have to say a thank you to people for being, well, jerks. We should say thank you - and mean it - for things that we are truly grateful for.
Like not being run off the road by some guy eating, talking on his cell phone, and smoking all at once. Like having enough money to buy your wants, instead of only your needs - or only half of your needs. Having a place to call your own, having great friends and a great family. Having new paths and doors open up for you, and being able to see them.
We should also say thank you for the smaller things; Someone thinks to call you just to see how you were doing, maybe your spouse does a little extra cleaning, or helps cook supper. Your child giving you a dirty, grimy, half-crushed pine cone like it's the Hope Diamond.
In our modern society, giving thanks seems like it is happening only once or twice a year...and there is usually turkey involved. Gratitude is something that should flavor our lives all year long. You can say, "Oh, the Gods know how I feel." only so many times before it becomes a hollow platitude. Sure, the Gods might know it. But if it feels good for us to receive gratitude and recognition, it probably feels good for the God and Goddess too. I would bet most of us even feel slighted when someone doesn't thank us for something we've put our effort into.
Thanking the Gods can be as simple as lighting a candle and saying a quick prayer, or as elaborate as a full ritual. The important thing is making the effort to show it.
How do you thank the people and Gods for the things in your life?