Turning Thanks Into Gratitude

As this year winds towards the end of November and into the holiday season, it is naturally a great time to reflect and be thankful for so many things. It is said that thankfulness is the beginning of happiness.

Thankfulness is an internal emotion one feels when they stop to recognize their own fortunate place in time. For some, that can be the winning numbers on a lottery ticket, or an appreciation for someone holding a door for you as you approach with arms full of groceries. For others, it can be a meal or a warm and safe place to sleep on a cold night. The important thing is all of this is the cognitive process of reflecting and recognizing our blessings.

It is at the point when we acknowledge our feeling of thankfulness that we can supercharge this emotion by adding an act of kindness to the equation. This act of kindness thus converts your thankfulness into gratitude. Gratitude starts with the realization of what we have received from others and what it cost them. In the example of someone holding the door for you, a heart-felt “thank you” becomes the expression (action) of kindness that results in gratitude.

Gratitude can strengthen the immune system, improve sleep and reduce stress. Said another way, it is good for your heart, your soul and your overall well-being.  A grateful heart is a healthy heart.

Interestingly, not everyone is good at expressing gratitude. However, people can get better at expressing gratitude, but it takes practice.

Gratitude can be expressed in many forms to include:

- Expressing thanks
- Helping others through charitable giving of...

  • Your time
  • Your money
  • Your attention
  • Your expertise
  • Your labor
  • Your goodwill
  • Your compassion

- Paying it forward—do something equally as kind for someone else.

In September of 2016 the Restaurant Facility Management Association (RFMA) began the largest ever service project to completely renovate the Daily Bread. In conjunction with this initiative, an all-volunteer team of RFS associates, family and friends have chosen to devote the Saturday leading up to Thanksgiving to perform much-needed dining courtyard improvements at Orlando’s Daily Bread. The courtyard improvement was the last piece of RFMA’s multifaceted service project that began over a year ago, and brought together hundreds of volunteers from around the country.Daily Bread was established in 1975 with the goal that no person in Central Florida struggle with hunger. Through Daily Bread, anyone who is hungry can eat for free. Daily Bread provides a nourishing noontime meal for families and individuals who are hungry six days a week at no cost to the consumer. Before the end of 2017, Daily Bread will serve its 4,500,000th meal to the Central Florida community.

By “giving something back” to those who serve those who are in-need, we are collectively expressing our own version of gratitude for all the blessings and good fortune we and our families have received.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

The RFS Family

Ron Wilhite


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