Grateful -vs- Thankful (2021)
I wrote this little ditty nearly seven years ago. Where do the years go?! It turns out that over the years this little grateful – vs – thankful tale attracts a great deal of traffic to our site, about this time, every year. Which tells me I’m not alone in my thought process of trying to distinguish between the two.
Given the state of world, and at a time when it can be difficult to remember what it means to be grateful for what we have, I thought it might be the perfect time to write a new introduction and republish it.
It feels as if we have been home for years. We’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to pack a bag and board a flight. In the big picture though, it doesn’t matter a damn. We are thankful, or is it grateful, that we’ve been able to ride out the pandemic. Our extended family has been impacted by Covid-19, but everyone we love is doing well and for that we are exceedingly grateful. Or, are we thankful? Which is it? You decide.
Grateful -vs- Thankful (2014)
Is there a difference between grateful and thankful? Thankful is a synonym for grateful – and vice versa – but somehow they don’t seem completely in sync. Is it just me?
Forty-eight days ago we began the next chapter in our lives and I think anytime anyone goes through a major life shift, it lends itself to reflection. To be at this point in our lives I am exceedingly grateful. Or am I thankful? I went looking for inspiration on the subject.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
Is expressing gratitude the same as giving thanks? I’m not so certain. And then I came across this:
“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.“
Henri Frederic Ami
It’s an interesting conundrum, don’t you think?
Thanksgiving is upon us in just a few short days and as we celebrate with family and friends – and enjoy a bountiful feast – I’m keeping my little conundrum right next to me. To give thanks and to be grateful for this life, well… it definitely needs to be expressed, one way or the other.
So let me express my thanks to each and every one of you who continue to visit our site, read this blog and support our journey. For this, I am grateful. Or am I thankful? Which is it? You decide.
“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.”
I too have been pondering the subtle differences between appreciation, thankfulness, and gratitude these last few months while I prepared for and experienced the loss of my husband and best friend, Richard. After his passing, I’ve been starting the day with my ‘Gratitude List’ which helps me find joy and laughter each day and appreciate the intangibles like finding a home in Portugal, being surrounded by beauty and having the time to experience moments, large and small. Most of all, I am profoundly grateful for friends, like you and Abi, who have become my makeshift family. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and I wish you both a day of thanks with your immediate family, those you’ve added to your circle and especially, your newest member!
Anita @ No Particular Place to Go recently posted…Just Like Riding A Bike, A Little Procrastination And Leaving Lagos
We hold you in our hearts, Anita. And we are indeed grateful the time we all spent together in Lagos, as well as thankful the universe brought us all together. Happy Thanksgiving.
Interesting thoughts, I think that Henri Frederic Amiel is probably right. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving in your new digs. Change can be a wonderful thing. Something for which we can be grateful…. or thankful. 🙂
Cathy Sweeney recently posted…Down in the Valley: Carson Valley Things to Do
I agree. I appreciated all of the quotes and couldn’t decide so posted all of them!
I love that last quote and it really resonates with me! I can be thankful for specific things, but lately overwhelming gratitude has been rising up within me almost constantly. I am so, so grateful for all the gifts I have received, and connecting with you through our respective journeys is one of them xxx
Sarah Somewhere recently posted…Evolving in Recovery
Thank you, Sarah, I feel the same! It’s amazing how the power of the internet can enrich our lives!
I am grateful, thankful and appreciative…wishing you and Abi a very Happy Thanksgiving 🙂
Mike recently posted…Happy Thanksgiving To My Daddy And Our Friends! A Love Story
Oh, you just added another one to the mix! 😉 Happy Thanksgiving to you, Mike.
I must say I am both thankful and grateful for your updates in my inbox:) I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving pondering your conundrum with family and friends.
Tracey recently posted…Calgary: Where to Eat Steak in Cow Town
Ah, thanks Tracey! I feel the same way, I look forward to your posts. How will you spend the holiday this year?!
Hey Patti, I’m thankful that I can follow your journey and watch it evolve. Happy Turkey Day.
And Kim, I’m grateful to call you my friend! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well, and I look forward to hearing how you spend the holiday in Mexico.
That is an indeed an interesting conundrum Patti! I love that last quote, I think it goes some way to explaining things. Happy holidays 🙂
Amy recently posted…Lake Life
I loved it as well! I was actually surprised to find as many as I did, but those 3 were among the most inspiring, I thought.
I think maybe gratitude implies something slightly more tangible. For example, I am grateful to you specifically for your assistance with my blog, but I’m thankful that I didn’t get malaria in South Africa. The difference is almost so subtle as to be a distinction without a difference. (Lawyers love to say that things are a “Distinction without a difference.” ) All I know is that I am both grateful and thankful and had some experiences this year that underscored how fortunate I am/we are. I look forward to following along as you settle into your new life.
Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…South Africa Safari — Thornybush Game Reserve & Monwana Game Lodge
“Distinction without a difference” – that’s a lawyeresque way of putting it! 😉 I don’t really know what got me started on the whole debate, but somehow they just don’t seem to be complete synonyms but yet they are.
Something I have asked myself as well! Have a thankful holiday filled with gratitude for all the gifts you’ve received in life 🙂
Rhonda recently posted…A Churning Mind
I will, and you do the same!
I think they work best hand in hand. Thanks for sharing with us.
Gaelyn recently posted…Foto Friday Fun 86
You’re welcome! And I’m grateful for online friends! 😉