audrey mabee 2
Painting by Audrey Mabee

I’m always happy when I find that a nice hotel exceeds my expectations, but I get impatient when it has a lamp or TV which doesn’t work, or I can’t figure out the shower controls or if it considers itself too fancy to put in a coffee machine. We’re sometimes more comfortable in a budget motel where our expectations are not as high.

We feel gratitude when some kindness exceeds our expectations or is undeserved. David Brooks says “gratitude is a sort of laughter of the heart after some surprising kindness.”.

We’re grateful when some people showed they thought more of us than we thought they did. It is a form of social glue to be repaid forward to another person who also doesn’t deserve it. You’re amazed that life has managed to be as sweet as it is.

G.K. Chesterton wrote that “thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Life doesn’t surpass our dreams but it nicely surpasses our expectations.


8 comments on “GRATITUDE

  1. There is a lot there Kayti. Kindness is the balm for hurt. It never fails to materialise when I take Milo for a walk.


  2. My daughter gave me a little ceramic plaque which says: “At the end of the day, only kindness matters.” And who could not be kind when with some cute little Jack Russell smiling along beside us?


  3. I think the most interesting sort of gratitude is the kind that wells up for no apparent reason.It’s not a response to a kindness, or a favor, or even for having escaped some terrible trauma. It simply “is.” Perhaps it’s a natural response to the fact of life itself: a response that we tend to negate by all our concerns with things that, in the end, don’t really matter a whit.


  4. You aptly describe the difference between expectations and reality which is the measure of our happiness.


  5. Great post. I just read an article in Scientific American about a study on character traits. And Gratitude is the most important trait in terms of well-being. Thanks for writing and sharing your post


  6. Thanks Patti. We feel good about ourselves when someone agrees with us, or praises our achievement.


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