• Aleksandra Brittain

Notes on Gratitude

Updated: Nov 26, 2019


Still befuddled by what you're going to say when someone asks you what you're thankful for this year? Not sure how to be grateful for the traffic over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house? Just need to put some more gratitude in your attitude this week?


Never fear: some of the most wondrous wordsmiths in the English language have expressed their appreciation in phrasings you’re free to borrow right here at the Haddonfield Public Library. They’re almost as shareable around the Thanksgiving table as green bean casserole.


Here’s one for the ages, from ages ago:


“Take full account of what Excellencies you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


Honestly? Still #relatable, which is wild, considering they were written around the year 180 CE.


American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson sounds like everybody’s Grandpa:


“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”


And some glowing nuggets from bestsellers you might have enjoyed at Thanksgivings past…


Abraham Verghese in his novel, Cutting for Stone --


“That's the funny thing about America--the blessed thing. As many people as there are to hold you back, there are angels whose humanity makes up for all the others. I've had my share of angels.”


Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything --


“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”


Stephen King, The Eyes of the Dragon


“I think that real friendship always makes us feel such sweet gratitude, because the world almost always seems like a very hard desert, and the flowers that grow there seem to grow against such high odds.”


Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver--


All I know

is that "thank you" should appear somewhere.

So just in case

I can't find

the perfect place-

"Thank you, thank you.”


A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh


“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”


Awwww, see? Something for everyone right here at HPL!


On your visit in this ramp-up to Thanksgiving, won’t you take a moment to tell us what you appreciate about your library? Write it onto a slip of paper and add it to our Gratitude Wreath in the main lobby. You really will have our sincere thanks.


P.S. Favorite librarian gratitude quote! From Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life --


“My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean.”


And we are grateful for you. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Now, please pass the stuffing.

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