Reflections on Gratitude

Dorothy Smith, UTO Province I Representative
October 31, 2006

November 2006

Gratitude is a form of thanksgiving. Sometimes we do not take the time to reflect on just how grateful we should be for the many wonderful things we have been part of during our lifetime. The joy of waking in the morning to the song of a bird outside our window; the dew on the grass highlighted by the warm sun heralding the new day is certainly the Lord saying “good morning.” For this we have to be thankful. We could be in another place on this earth where hunger and fear for one’s life is the day’s greeting.

Gratitude for the sound of children chattering and laughing as they romp around without fear for their lives and knowing they will have a nutritious meal at the end of their day should be remembered.
My childhood was a very happy time in my life with loving parents, pets to love, friends to share the day playing in the woods picking wild flowers and berries with not a care in the world. The holidays meant family gatherings with aunts, uncles, and cousins. I believe we were thankful for these times but did not verbalize our thankfulness in so many words.

As time passed and horizons broadened things took on greater meaning as I began to understand the hardships of many people in the world. I felt the need to lessen their burdens though it was in a small way: helping weed the garden of an elderly neighbor who loved the beauty of the blooms but was unable to maintain the pristine garden she once managed; taking care of a little child for a mother in need of a little respite. These were the signs of things to come. Yes, I am grateful to have been there to ease the burden in a small way.

As I matured I crammed my mind with all the new and demanding responsibilities. My broader view became so far and wide I had to ask myself, does my individual endeavor really make a difference? I decided it does. One good example is the use of the UTO Blue Box. It makes me ever so thankful for all blessings, large and small. The coins I place in the that box when added to the thanksgivings of others really gives hope to the hopeless, education for the uneducated, as well as bringing the feeling of accomplishment. However, there are times when the lonely need only a smile, someone to listen to them, or the offer of a helping hand. This can and does make a vast difference in their lives as well as our own. It is my hope that I have been able to do this in some small way.

The Lord provided me with eyes, ears, and the ability to do for others. I hope this ability has been used to the fullest.