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Perspective: Gratitude, a verb in progress

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According to the Oxford dictionary, gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. In other words, gratitude is beyond a sentiment, it is an action, a verb in progress.

When I think of the word gratitude, ‘Thanksgiving Day’ quickly comes to mind. This celebration brings joy, fellowship, generosity, gratitude, and acknowledgment of the good deeds done in our favor to every home in America. It could not fulfill its purpose without the action ‘giving,’ the verb in progress.

The American writer, William Arthur Ward wrote, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

In accordance with recent positive psychology research, gratitude is linked to emotional, spiritual, physical, and cognitive health. Therefore, we should practice gratitude more often, as it not only benefits the recipient but also the giver. Even strangers react favorably when we do acts of kindness as simple as holding the door for others. Many times, we ignore how acts of kindness are a reward that we should give back to the world because it enriches our soul. Do not let the opportunity to express your gratitude pass you by. I encourage you to present the gift of gratitude wherever you go.

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Melody was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She loves the outdoors and is currently an NIU student working on her teaching licensure, hoping to teach Spanish and English learners in the near future.