Just yesterday I learned that science now affirms two key ingredients that lead to greater happiness: gratitude and kindness. My granddaughter shared these insights with me from her current college studies in psychology. Interestingly the class reviewed scientific experiments that demonstrate the accuracy of those contentions. Additionally, it has been demonstrated as well that verbal expressions of gratitude, actually saying the words aloud, multiply the impact of thankfulness.
Our conversation leads me to reflect as we celebrate today, Memorial Day. Established following the brutal Civil War, Memorial Day honors the lives sacrificed for our freedom. Since the Civil War, Americans have given their lives serving in the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War and now the Afghanistan War. Today we remember and appreciate those who made this ultimate sacrifice as well those who today serve in foreign battlefields facing danger.
However, if the science of psychology is true, we would enhance our personal happiness today by expressing our gratitude in a tangible way and seeking an opportunity to extend an act of kindness to someone of those whom we honor. Do you know a veteran in your circle of friends and family? Are you acquainted with someone currently serving our country here or abroad? Perhaps you know a family whose loved one is away from them because of their military service today.
What if everyone of us called, wrote, or in other creative ways expressed specific appreciation to these whose lives are spent in providing us liberty? What if you look for an opportunity to perform a specific act of kindness to a soldier or their family? If you want to put a smile on your face read this kind act that has encouraged all who read it yesterday.
And if you'd like to be reminded and encouraged of why we can be thankful on this Memorial Day, check out this link as well:http://www.ijreview.com/2014/05/141554-watch-group-soldiers-something-truly-american-fallen-heroes-arlington/
When you consider how prevalent thankfulness is in scripture (I Thess 5:17) and that kindness is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) we would likely not only gain greater personal happiness but better reflect God’s character to a world desperately seeking happiness. Who knows, your kindness may bring happiness to more than you know so let’s express our gratitude at every opportunity.