Gratefulness – the simple response of our heart to this life in all its fullness – goes beyond boundaries of creed, age, vocation, gender, and nation. J. Robert Moskin, former foreign editor for Look magazine and senior editor for Collier's, writes that “thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings.”
The following diverse array of quotes comes from Gratefulness.org.
Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.
– Hausa proverb from Nigeria
The happy heart gives away the best. To know how to receive is also a most important gift, which cultivates generosity in others and keeps strong the cycle of life.
– Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo, speaker, author, musician and spiritual leader in the Eastern Tsalagi (Cherokee) tradition
Whenever feeling downcast, each person should vitally remember, "For my sake, the entire world was created."
– Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezer, Baal Shem Tov,
founder of Hasidic Judaism
Under affliction in the very depths, stop and contemplate what you have to be grateful for.
– Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science
A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances. A complaining soul complains even in paradise.
– Baha'u'llah, founder of the Baha'i Faith
There's a self-expansive aspect of gratitude. Very possibly it's a little known law of nature: the more gratitude you have, the more you have to be grateful for.
– Elaine St. James, author, leader of the simplicity movement
Do all you can with what you have, in the time you have, in the place you are.
– Nkosi Johnson, twelve-year-old Zulu boy, living with AIDS
Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.
– Yoko Ono, Japanese-American artist and musician
Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman stoic
As life becomes harder and more threatening, it also
becomes richer, because the fewer expectations we have,
the more good things of life become unexpected gifts
that we accept with gratitude.
– Etty Hillesum, Dutch Jewish writer known for her diaries and correspondence from Westerbork concentration camp
Grateful living: an alchemic operation
of converting "disgraceful" things into grateful events.
– Raimundo Panikkar, Roman Catholic priest from Spain specializing in comparative philosophy of religion
Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
– Native American prayer
Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art....It is a privilege to be alive in this time when we can choose to take part in the self-healing of our world.
– Joanna Macy, eco-philosopher and scholar of Buddhism
Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
– G.K. Chesterton, writer and Christian apologist
I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable...but through it all I still know quite certainly
that just to be alive is a grand thing.
– Agatha Christi, crime-fiction writer
Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.
– Jacques Maritain, French philosopher and political thinker
Thankfulness brings you to the place where the Beloved lives.
– Jalaluddin Rumi, Persian Sufi poet, from Camille and Kabir Helminski's Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance
Gratitude is so close to the bone of life, pure and true, that it instantly stops the rational mind, and all its planning and plotting. That kind of let go is fiercely threatening. I mean, where might such gratitude end?
– Regina Sara Ryan, former Roman Catholic nun now aligned with the Bauls of Bengal, India
The words for "thank you" inspersed between quotes above are in these languages respectively: Balinese, Cree, Danish, Malayam, Maori, Mongolian, Ngoni, and Quechua.