The Virtue of Gratitude

We have no difficulty reminding the 4-year-old to “say thank you” when Grandma hands her an ice cream cone, but in other situations—especially when a religious turn-of-phrase is generally used—we often pass up the chance to teach our kids to express gratitude in naturalistic terms. Instead of thanking God for the food on your table, thank those who really put it there—the farmers, the truckers, the produce workers, and Mom or Dad or Aunt Millicent. They deserve it. Maybe you’d like to lean toward the Native American and honor the animals for the sacrifice of their lives—a nice way to underline our connection to them. You can give thanks to those around the table for being present, and for their health, and for family and friendship itself. There is no limit. Even when abstract, like gratitude for health, the simple expression of gratitude is all that is needed. No divine ear is necessary—we are surrounded by real ears and by real hearers.


We have real people all around us to be thankful to.

Folksonomies: atheism virtue

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 Seven Secular Virtues: Humility, Empathy, Courage, Honesty, Openness, Generosity, and Gratitude
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  McGowan, Ph.D., Dale (2007), Seven Secular Virtues: Humility, Empathy, Courage, Honesty, Openness, Generosity, and Gratitude, Retrieved on 2012-03-28
Folksonomies: atheism humanism