Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"Gratitude is a soil on which joy thrives." - Berthold Auerbach

"I had the opportunity to deliver babies... In each of these numinous moments, I knew that life had meaning; each experience was accompanied by an upwelling of gratitude and humility. These moments, which can be called an experience of the self, or archetype of meaning, are akin to the act of finally seeing the Holy Grail after a long quest... It is through these moments of grace and gratitude that we acquire a sense of meaning and a desire to live a meaningful life. The personal challenge is now." - Jean Shinoda Bolen

"Politeness does not always evince goodness, equity, complaisance, or gratitude, but it gives at least the appearance of these qualities, and makes man appear outwardly as he should be within." - Jean de La Bruyère

"There is nothing that can not be accomplished by the spirit of gratitude and self-sacrifice." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"What a noble gift to man are the forests! What a debt of gratitude and admiration we owe to their beauty and their utility! How pleasantly the shadows of the wood fall upon our heads when we turn from the glitter and turmoil of the world of man!" - Susan Fenimore Cooper, fully Susan Augusta Fenimore Cooper

"Gratitude is the virtue most deified and most deserted. It is the ornament of rhetoric and the libel of practical life." - John W. Forney, fully John Wien Forney

"Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions, especially when it is deep." - Felix Frankfurter

"To the generous mind the heaviest debt is that of gratitude, when it is not in our power to repay it." - Benjamin Franklin

"A person who utters words, or does acts of admiration, gratitude, or appreciation only on utilitarian grounds becomes a person without admiration, gratitude or appreciation. If utilitarianism has no place for desert, desert has no place for utilitarianism either." - James Patrick Griffin

"Gratitude is a species of justice." -

"There are minds so impatient of inferiority that their gratitude is a species of revenge, and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain." -

"Every person alive today derives much benefit from comforts and pleasures that in the past were not available. All of the latest inventions and findings of technology serve us to a remarkable degree. For all this we should be full of appreciation and gratitude." - Yosef Zev Leipowitz

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart." - Jean Baptiste Massillon

"If a person learns to be grateful to the Creator because he is allowed to awake in the morning, then every day is begun with a feeling of gratitude for an additional day of life." - Avigdor Miller

"The less gratitude you receive for doing a kind act, the greater the value of the act. True kindness is when we do not receive anything in return for what we do." - Rashi, born Shlomo ben Yitzchok, aka Salomon Isaacides, Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki NULL

"It’s not the things that can be bought that are life’s richest treasures. It’s priceless little courtesies that money cannot measure. Each little act of graciousness or kindly little favor that fills the heart with gratitude leaves memories to savor." - Helen Steiner Rice

"Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Whatever you have received more than others - in health, in talents, in ability, in success, in a pleasant childhood, in harmonious conditions of home life - all this you must not take to yourself as a matter of course. In gratitude for your good fortune, you must render in return some sacrifice of your own life for another life." - Albert Schweitzer

"He that receives a gift with gratitude repays the first installment of his debt." -

"Love, Gratitude, and Pity wept at once." - Edward Thomson

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart; therefore forget not to say often, I have all I have ever enjoyed." -

"Yet it is meet and proper that a nation should set apart an annual day for national giving of thanks. It is a public recognition of God as the Author of all prosperity. It is the erection of a memorial to the honor of him who has led us through another year. The annual proclamations which call to the duty of thanksgiving are calculated to remind the people of their indebtedness to God, to stir in their minds and hearts emotions of gratitude and praise, and to call out thanks and sincere worship which otherwise might not find expression. But if the observance of the day be not marked by real remembering of mercies and by real lifting of hearts to God in thanks, what blessing can possibly come with it?" -

"The surest eventuality in life is death... You always have to do your best in whatever work comes your way. Only then can you express your gratitude for having been endowed with life. Only then can you rest assured of reaching paradise after death." - Ayano Otani

"Old age brings us to know the value of the blessings which we have enjoyed, and it brings us also to a very thankful perception of those which yet remain. Is a man advanced in life? The ease of a single day, the rest of a single night, are gifts which may be subjects of gratitude to God." - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

"The gratitude of most men is but a secret desire of receiving greater benefits." -

"Egotism erects its center in itself: love places it out of itself in the axis of the universal whole. Love aims at unity, egotism at solitude. Love is the citizen ruler of a flourishing public, egotism is a despot in a devastated creation. Egotism sows for gratitude, love for the ungrateful. Love gives, egotism lends; and love does this before the throne of judicial truth, indifferent if for the enjoyment of the following moment, or with the view of a martyr’s crown - indifferent whether the reward is tin this life or in the next." - Friedrich Schiller, fully Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

"There is nothing that we an properly call our own but our time, and yet everybody fools us out of it who has a mind to do it. If a man borrows a paltry sum of money, there must needs be bonds and securities, and every common civility is presently charged upon account. But he who has my time thinks he owes me nothing for it, though it be a debt that gratitude itself can never repay." -

"Never did any soul do good but it came readier to do the same again, with more enjoyment. Never was love with more enjoyment. Never was love or gratitude or bounty practiced but with increasing joy, which made the practicer still more in love with the fair act." - Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury

"To feel oppressed by obligation is only to prove that we are incapable of a proper sentiment of gratitude. To receive favors from the unworthy is to admit that our selfishness is superior to our pride." - William Gilmore Simms

"Those who make us happy are always thankful to us for being so; their gratitude is the reward of their benefits." - Madame Swetchine, fully Anne Sophie Swetchine née Sophia Petrovna Soïmonov or Soymanof

"Focus on being grateful… Whatever you focus on with true appreciation and gratitude – you are generating a higher frequency of energy. By living and taking action in a higher frequency (which is also a deeper and richer frequency) you are more aligned with your purpose." - Carol Adrienne

"Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.”" -

"Gratitude is heaven itself." - William Blake

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the mother (parent) of all the rest." -

"If we meet someone who owes us a debt of gratitude, we remember the fact at once. How often we can meet someone to whom we owe a debt of gratitude without thinking about it at all!" - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Love life. Be grateful for it always. And show your gratitude by not shying away from its challenges. Try always to live a little bit beyond your capacities. You’ll find that you never succeed." - Adam Lindsey Gordon

"There is a built-in sense of indebtedness in the consciousness of man, an awareness of owing gratitude, of being called upon at certain moments to reciprocate, to answer, to live in a way which is compatible with the grandeur and mystery of living." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The message is clear: plan with attitude, prepare with aptitude, participate with servitude, receive with gratitude, and this should be enough to separate you from the multitudes." - Krish Khanam

"Because Release is a gift – a reality not earned, not merited, not attained in any way – there flows naturally from the experience of release, the experience of Gratitude. Gratitude can best be defined and understood as the only possible response to a gift, to something recognized as utterly, freely given. Gratitude is the vision – the way of seeing – that recognizes “gift.”" - Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham

"Happiness – the joy of living – comes in the experience of gratitude that flows forma vision of one’s life as a reality received, a gift given freely and spontaneously. Such a vision removes self from the center, thus healing self-centeredness by revealing the folly of the illusion of control." - Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham

"Whenever you're facing any form of resistance, gratitude has the power to quickly dissolve it. This is true whether the hindrance comes from inside of you or outside of you." - Peggy McColl

"Contemplation is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life... It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant Source." - Thomas Merton

"Gratitude invites a sense of sufficiency." - Wayne Muller

"All noble art, with all noble religion, breathes gratitude for life... Great art is a song of praise, an overflowing of life back to its source, a dithramb of thanksgiving and gratitude." - Alfred Richard Orage

"Show gratitude… with pen and paper. Handwritten notes will be appreciated." - Randy Pausch, fully Randolph Frederick "Randy" Pausch

"No gratitude is felt for a benefit when it has lingered long in the hands of him who gives it, when the giver has seemed sorry to let it go, and has given it with the air of one who was robbing himself." -

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." - Gladys Browyn Stern, born Gladys Bertha Stern

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." -

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melodie Beattie

"Gratitude is the intention to count-your-blessings every day, every minute, while avoiding, whenever possible, the belief that you need or deserve different circumstances." - Timothy Miller, fully Timothy S. Miller