When forging character gratitude is important Qutoe by Cicero

Gratitude, The Parent of Character


GratitudeGratitude. My grandfather was a coal miner. My grandmother took care of the home, the garden, the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning and the kids. They did not have much in the way that our materialistic society today measures things, but what they did have, they were grateful for it. They had a small garden, a few cows, pigs and chickens. This provided their food. They had great neighbors, friends and family. They had a clear, cold spring for fresh water.

Grandaddy had worked in the coal mines and as a result had black lung disease from breathing all the coal dust. He trouble doing anything without getting out of breath.  Grandma had severe osteoarthritis and had a hard time getting around or using her hands.

Even with all these challenges, they were grateful what they had, plenty of food, water and good family and friends. Simple, but important things. Friends dropping in for a quilting bee. Hanging out at the service station playing checkers. A roof over their heads. Watching the ducks down by the creek. All these simple things were appreciated. For my grandparents, gratitude is the parent of character.

Above all they had gratitude.

Gratitude is the parent of character

What does gratitude have to do with character? When one thinks of character, things like trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness and compassion come to mind. Without a spirit of graciousness, the other traits are greatly diminished.

According to Cicero, gratitude is the parent of all character virtues.

Gratitude is the parent of all character virtues

What are you grateful for?

Being able to appreciate what you have is one the greatest gifts which you can give yourself. I do not mean that you must be satisfied with your current situation. But you must appreciate it and accept it. Do not settle for where you are.

What I am saying is that if you cannot learn happiness  where you are and with you have, you will never be happy.

  • Employment (self or otherwise) which allows us to support our bad habits like eating and sleeping under a roof
  • Customers and clients that make it possible to get paid
  • People that provide our food and water
  • A roof to sleep under

Learning to be grateful is the first step toward improving your life. Are you ready to start? What are you grateful for? We would love to hear your thoughts below.

6 thoughts on “Gratitude, The Parent of Character

  1. Lanette Griffith Spikes

    What a wonderful reminder of how the simple things in life that we take for granted, Grandma & Papa will forever be in my memories. By the examples they for their sons and daughter the love of family, friends and grattitude for the circumstances in life have been passed down. I think of Uncle Claude and all the changes he has witnessed in his life time, I so wish the miles did not seperate us would love to spend a day with him and his infamous tales. Love to you all.Lanette

    1. shawngriffith Post author

      Hi Cuz, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It is mind boggling to think of the changes that dad has seen in his 94 years.

  2. David Griffith

    So enjoyed your thoughts of our
    grandparents.Some of my fondest
    memories are there and at your lake house.As the years start to go by and your loved ones continue to leave,you find yourself remenesing years gone by and the things that are important.It is good to hear from family as that is what is important.

    1. shawngriffith Post author

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts Cuz 🙂 It is always good to keep everything in perspective.

  3. Claire

    I love how you went back to your roots (your grandparents) and made them an example of gratitude. I am grateful for my family as well, especially my grandparents who went through a lot of during their time. I am also lucky enough to grow up knowing my great grandmother who fascinates me with her stories of living in the time of war. She was the strongest, bravest woman I knew. I totally agree that today’s society measures happiness with what money can buy and that’s really sad. I am guilty of having that phase but a lot of life changes and reflections on my end opened up a lot of doors for me to be grateful every day. 🙂

    1. shawngriffith Post author

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts Claire. I was only able to meet one of my great grandmothers, my mom’s dad’s mother. I was young and did not appreciate it much at the time. She lived a very simple, but happy life. Most of us go through a phase where we collect things, but I think collecting and sharing experiences is much more valuable.


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