How to Show Gratitude Through Acts of Benevolence
What makes people brave?
How can heroes perform mighty feats?
Why do people stand up to evil?
They all tap into extraordinary power – power that helps them help others. Even save others.
It’s called gratitude.
Gratitude Can Save Lives
Sir Nicholas Winton organized the rescue and passage to Britain of about 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovakian children destined for the Nazi death camps before World War II, in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport.
Here is a video of a tribute to him that will bring tears to your eyes within 20 seconds.
Sir Nicholas was in a position to make a tremendous difference in the lives of many people.
And he did so – at great personal risk.
And what do you think fueled his exceptional bravery?
I am willing to bet it was gratitude.
Gratitude Leads to Benevolence
When we show gratitude, we show the world that we do not take for granted our good fortune.
We communicate that the good things in life that happen to us are tremendous gifts.
We show that we feel especially privileged to benefit from such gifts, and that they are to be shared.
This recognition keeps us humble, and so we can see the needs of others less fortunate.
It is not just a question, however, of saying, “”It’s good to be grateful,” or “Look for opportunities to show gratitude every chance you get.”
Here’s what else you need to know:
- Sir Winston must have felt tremendous gratitude for his lot in life. That was the source of his outstanding benevolence towards others – especially children in dire need. It was also the source of his tremendous strength. Even people who have status and power must be strong enough to stand up to evil.
- When people of power do the right thing, lives can literally be saved. They have the means and connections to give hundreds and thousands of people a second chance at life. It is especially important for them to do so when governments and armies are committed to the destruction of others.
- It is too easy to hide your eyes and not take action. People can kid themselves into thinking that their status and position will save them. But that is squandering the good fortune they’ve experienced in achieving that status and position. To not help others is really to express ingratitude for the power you have. It must be used to benefit others.
Power to do Good
Times of war and great evil are exceptional. For so many people, life is in the balance.
In more normal times, however, the same ideas hold.
People who achieve wealth and power – the world class – are positioned to do tremendous good.
Their money, their connections, and most importantly their benevolent attitude can improve the quality of life for multitudes of people.
This benevolence is a pure expression of the gratitude they feel for their good fortune.
The Joy of Sharing the Gift
Everything we achieve in life is a gift.
The real joy in receiving that gift lies in sharing that gift.
When we feel gratitude for what we have, sharing it comes naturally.
Our acts of benevolence demonstrate the gratitude we feel.
In certain times, these acts of benevolence can literally save lives.
In other times, they can certainly help many people.
What do you think? Do you truly feel grateful for what you have? Is it easy to share?