Gratitude Life Lessons | Facing the Ungrateful

May 31, 2018
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Listen to episode 270 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Gratitude Life Lessons | Overcoming Ingratitude. Edited and adapted from “The Power of Truth” by William George Jordan.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Get full transcripts of our podcast, with your very own private podcast feed, by becoming our patron today. Learn more at LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from “The Power of Truth” by William George Jordan, published in 1902.

Gratitude is being thankful, and then turning that feeling into action. It is the instinctive radiation of justice — giving new life and energy to the individual from whom it emanates. It is the heart's recognition of kindness that the lips cannot repay.

Gratitude never counts its payments. It realizes that no debt of kindness can ever be outlawed, ever be cancelled, ever paid in full. Gratitude ever feels the insignificance of its instalments — ingratitude the nothingness of the debt.

Gratitude is the flowering of the seed of kindness. Ingratitude is the dead inactivity of a seed dropped on a stone. The expectation of gratitude is human, while rising superior to ingratitude is almost divine. To desire recognition of our acts of kindness, and to hunger for appreciation and a return of good for good, is natural. But we never rise to the dignity of true living until we have the courage that dares to face ingratitude calmly, and to pursue our course unchanged when our good works meet with thanklessness or disdain.

A person should have only one court of appeals as to their actions — not "What will be the result?" or "How will it be received?" but "Is it right?" Then you should live your life in harmony with this standard alone — serenely, bravely, loyally, and unfalteringly — making "right for right's sake" both your ideal and your inspiration.

We should be like the great sun itself, which ever radiates light, warmth, life, and power, because it cannot help doing so, because these qualities fill the heart of the sun — and for it to have them means that it must give them constantly. Let the sunlight of our sympathy, tenderness, love, appreciation, influence, and kindness ever go out from us as a glow to brighten and hearten others.