An attitude of gratitude

Oct 05, 2023

The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.
(Mary Davis)

When I got home the other day, our cat was curled up blissfully in his favourite seat - after another hectic schedule of washing his legs and whatnot, no doubt. He didn’t trouble himself to get up and say hello - but opened one eye in a friendly sort of way. I noticed his biscuit dish was empty and asked him (I know, I know) if he would like some more. He said “yes please”, or cat-language for yes please, so I went to the cupboard to fill his dish. However, there were none in the box we keep them in. I grumbled my way down to the basement to get another bag. Carting the massive bag of biscuits back upstairs, I couldn’t find the scissors to open the bag, so had to rip it in a not very beautiful way. I emptied some biscuits into the box and watched as they spewed out of the ragged opening all over the floor. So I had to sweep them up, put the opened sack of biscuits away and waited for him to thank me. Which, of course, he didn’t. Cats don’t seem to do gratitude, nor do they appreciate the effort you put into serving their needs.

“Rambo, you’re so ungrateful,” I growled, to which he replied absolutely nothing at all. He went back to sleep.

And yet, and yet, I continue to go through this ridiculous performance several times a month. Getting annoyed by a cat for being ungrateful is a completely pointless exercise.

Imagine if the universe growled back at you every time you didn’t notice how beautiful the clouds were that morning, or grumped if you walked past a rose and didn’t smell its perfect fragrance. Colours are always around us, even if we close our eyes and don’t think about or acknowledge them. Rainbows still appear even if nobody mentions them. The sun still rises, regardles.

By noticing the beauty around you, however, you start to appreciate more things. A daisy will seem even more beautiful if you fully absorb its detail and take in its perfect simplicity. What you focus on expands, you see. If all you see are things to grumble about, then confirmation bias will result in you finding more evidence to support your grumblings. If, on the other hand, you find things to be thankful for and really feel the gratitude for them, then that gratitude will grow in your heart and shine out in front of you, illuminating more and more things to be grateful for and reverberating into the Universe.

It is lovely at the end of a long and tiring day to sit down and relax and have a friendly creature come and lie on your knees and purr happily. Perhaps this is how he expresses gratitude. And why, despite it all, his biscuit bowl will always be full. May your biscuit bowl runneth over too.