It’s everywhere. Everyone from Oprah to the Huffington Post has jumped aboard the gratitude bus.
But what is it, really?
Gratitude is a nebulous word. The dictionary tells us that gratitude is a noun. It’s the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. So, gratitude a quality we’re supposed to possess.
You hear people say they are grateful for something or someone. That’s nice, but it’s not what Oprah and the Huffington Post are talking about.
This gratitude that everybody’s talking about––but most are not understanding––has little to do with the definition of the word as a noun. It has everything to do with turning gratitude into an action word. Hey, that makes it a verb!
Pay it forward when someone does a good thing to you. Telling them you’re grateful is polite and the right thing to do. But the whole process stops right there, unless you fuel the gratitude engine with further action. Find someone else. Do a good thing to them.
You know the big magic change in your life that’s supposed to happen if you get into this gratitude thing? It’s not going to happen if you just pay gratitude some lip service. Gratitude isn’t about thanking people. That’s politeness.
If you want magic to happen, forget about gratitude as a noun. Turn gratitude into a verb.
And while you’re at it, consider what might happen if you applied the same transformation to the word love.
So sayeth the StickMonkey.