Inner Decisions

. . . journey into wholeness

Grateful verses Thankful

AS I was preparing a presentation on feeling grateful I found a couple of articles I subsequently used for an open discussion during An Hour with Spirit, my Sunday nondenominational service. However, it was Brother David Steindl-Rast and his TEDTalk on and article “Are You Thankful Or Are You Grateful?” by Steindl-Rast ( on which I focused.

IS GRATEFUL DIFFERENT than the feeling of being thankful? It kind of felt that way, though maybe I was experiencing the power of suggestion.

Ordinarily I offer a presentation in a lecture format to the group that drags themselves out of their cozy beds and treks out to my farm’s meeting room to arrive at 9AM for the non-traditional gathering of spiritual exploration. This time, however, I opted for an open discussion. Is feeling grateful different than feeling thankful, and if so, how?

PEOPLE were eager to explore the idea and all felt the difference between gratefulness as a bigger more spiritual concept as opposed to thankfulness which was more personal and situational. “I am grateful for clean water.” verses “Thank you for this glass of water.” For most, the sense of feeling grateful had no boundaries and lacked conditions with ‘pay-it-forward’sensation.  The sense of thankfulness, however, felt like there may be a direct payback or silent expectation attached, and it was always more personal. 

GRATEFULNESS, everyone concluded, encouraged us into an essence of Oneness where we are all connected and with it an expanded awareness of the possibilities of life. It was argued that the awareness of gratitude ignited the Law of Attraction, where like-minded people and ideas could flow into our presence. Gratefulness encouraged us to expand our relationship with other people who expressed gratitude. We wondered if perhaps the vibration of gratitude also set boundaries with those who did not frequently connect with gratitude and might limit our interactions with them. Could embracing gratitude set in motion a Law of Unattraction?

It was a delightful discussion. No one felt that the feelings of grateful and thankful were the same, though they are often used interchangeably. Everyone felt this was an idea worth considering.

How about you? Feel free to comment below.

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