Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin
Showing posts with label Gratitude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gratitude. Show all posts

Saturday, 16 January 2016


©Brigitta Huegel

Dear You, 
I thought for a while before chosing this photo to illustrate "gratitude".
It shows that being grateful is like being a mirror: you notice what is around you, you reflect it - and don't take it just for granted. (Well - the image is a bit wobbly...)
Which we often do instead of being thankful.
When we feel down we sometimes narrow our vision and become unfair: we see only the half-empty glass, only 'poor-little-me'.
Actually I wanted to show here a video with the song of Ralph Mctell, "Streets of London" - but both versions on youtube were - so I think - exploiting and preying on private misfortune, so I choose another video instead, which even as a child I thought of as "pure envy" - the contrary of gratefulness: Peter Sarstedt's song "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?" Our 'captain' on the narrowboat on the Leeds-Liverpool-Canal, Matti, a musician, could perform it very well - the highlight was the little bitter laugh - ahahaha - in between. But hear yourself - what is the singer accusing the girl of? That she got what they both(!) aimed for - "with burning ambition"?
I hate it when people claim "I can look into your head" - (though nowadays, with all those people shouting their thoughts into their cellphone, we almost can - for a moment).

Back to gratitude: yes,  I write (almost every day) into a Gratitude Journal. I do it in the morning (being a morning person) and recall the blessings of the day before. At least five items.
I always find more.
Sometimes very trivial things - "first little violet opened her eyes - thanks she survived the hard winter!" (I am on good footing with it - so I am allowed to say "her") - or very important things.
The small things predominate - but that is just the trick, the charm: by being able to see that so much beauty and good surrounds you in everyday life one recognises that one must be a very dull person not to notice it.
A French proverb says:
                                          "Gratitude is the heart's memory." 
                                                                                                         So it is.

Monday, 8 April 2013

EXPRESS your Gratitude

Britta Huegel

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that you are happier when you feel grateful. 
I found out that I feel even happier when I express my gratitude. 
It is so easy to overlook the many incidents one can be grateful for - sometimes on a single day I feel that I get more 'presents' without a special occasion than I got as a child on a birthday! 
We all have a lot to do - so we might overlook the things we can be grateful for. 
- That's why I have a diary into which I write almost every day at least five things that made me happy and thankful - you will have read about doing that in many books on Happiness. Just try to do it!  
- And I invented for myself a sketch-book into which I draw one of those lucky reminders. It is not important whether I draw them artistical or not - it is the time I spend really looking at a thing. It is so easy to grab an item one got as a 'gift' - and then, like an overeater, swallow greedily the next. 
When I draw the lines of a cup of coffee, or a blossom of a magnolia, I look intensely, and thus value what is before me more than by just mumbling: "Oh, great, thank you - what next?
By the way: Only a few people know the Art of Saying Thank You. I remember those young people who did after advising - by e-mail, letter, telephone-call - better than those who intended to, but forgot. And though I work for all of them correctly, as I remember those others who said 'Thank you!" better I might sometimes find an extra for them weeks later. 
So: if your professor took the time to read your paper very carefully/ or your dentist gave you quickly an appointment/ or your haircutter did a special job - though they all get paid for it, it doesn't harm to acknowledge your gratitude by saying 'Thank you' (when you mean it).