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With Gratitude...

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

-   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Freedom-from-Want_3_5-805x1024Norman Rockwell’s most famous work, Freedom from Want, is more commonly known as Thanksgiving Day. Rockwell’s 1942 painting depicts smiling faces and happy dinner guests about to be served a Thanksgiving feast. Rockwell set out to capture the essence of everyday life, one of four in a collection created for the Saturday Evening Post to be published over four consecutive weeks during the winter of 1943.

The painting evokes thoughts of simpler times and, perhaps, shared memories of Thanksgiving dinners from long ago. As we sit around the table this week to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday, most of us will practice the tradition of discussing the things for which we are most thankful. While thankfulness is the essence of the holiday, gratefulness is essential.

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between thankfulness and gratitude. While being thankful is typically associated with material goods, it also arises from something specific. How many are thankful for the food on the table? Or the many times you say “thanks” throughout the day. Gratitude is a more lasting emotion that arises from reflecting on the many things for which you are most thankful. It is about recognizing and appreciating those people, things, moments, or gifts that bring joy to our lives. Gratitude is also a state of being. It means expressing thankfulness and being appreciative of life even when nothing exciting happens.  

The practice of gratitude can have a significant positive impact on our physical and psychological health. Researchers have concluded that the practice of gratitude can improve sleep, lower blood pressure, create higher self-esteem and help build stronger relationships. Perhaps Rockwell was pointing to all these things when creating Freedom from Want?

As we look back on this past year, DandeLions Digital wishes to profess extreme gratitude for our clients. Thanks will always come after a meeting, phone call or at the end of an email. Gratitude will remain for the remainder of our relationship. It is this gratitude that we will practice and that will continue to strengthen our relationships with our clients.