In my ongoing effort to enliven ecclesiological language, I offer the following adjectival additions to the concept of gratitude.
First, let’s start with the presumption that gratitude may need some help. Some of the church’s verbiage illustrates this necessity—as in “the attitude of gratitude.” (Note here the extra oomph that rhyming adds to the concept of thankfulness!) Second, let’s imagine that there might be other phonemically similar adjectives waiting to take their supportive role in encouraging thanksgiving—or if you prefer, “thanks-living”. Third, let’s be thankful for people who are willing to supply word-seekers with additional concept-strengtheners that are embodied in modifying constructs. With those ideas in mind, these suggestions….
The aptitude of gratitude.
When it comes to gratefulness, it’s important that we exhibit more than just good attitudes. Thankfulness is a skill we learn, part of a mindset that doesn’t just magically appear in our brains. Like any skill set, gratitude rests on capacity and propensity.
An amplitude of gratitude.
Gratefulness is as noticeable as a loud and happy tune. Once gratitude gets going, it’s hard to ignore. The more gratitude you hear, the more you want to join in. The boisterous profusion of gratitude is attractive.
The certitude of gratitude.
Gratitude is reliable—you can count on it. Gratefulness isn’t flaky—it sticks in your soul and won’t go away easily. You can be confident that gratitude will do what it promises.
Fortitude in gratitude.
In a world dealing with despair, cowardice, disdain or mockery, your gratitude sticks out—brave and tall—courageously asserting that there’s more to life than whining and blaming.
The solitude of gratitude.
Being thankful starts inside of yourself. Gratefulness needs quiet time inside your soul—to be examined carefully, until you realize that you want to share as widely as possible all the reasons—all the ways—you’re thankful.
The magnitude of gratitude.
Once you realize how and why you’re thankful, gratitude expands past its emotional boundaries. It breaks out into your relationships, your view of life. Gratitude grows wherever you go. Maybe into the whole world….
The multitudes of gratitudes.
Once gratitude starts sloshing around in your soul, you realize that it has company: Love, joy, hope, empathy, altruism, generosity. The reasons for your thankfulness crowd around each other, some of them defying description.
Servitude to gratitude.
Gratitude serves a purpose beyond yourself—you’re not grateful just for your own benefit. When you’re steeped in thankfulness, you realize how indebted you are to God for everything you have, everything you are and everything you hope to be. You are bound to serve others.
There you have it: Adjectival constructs you can put to use the next time you want to describe gratitude. And whatever you do with this entry, will you promise that you’ll never make a platitude out of gratitude?