Kwento Kwentuhan

On Being Grateful

What are you grateful for?

Liza A Pierce of “A Maui Blog” | Photos courtesy Liza Pierce

While this pandemic made our life a bit more complicated, there still are so many things (and not just things) we can be thankful for. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it is appropriate for us to talk about “Gratitude” here at Kwento-Kwentuhan.

First, let us define what gratitude is. This word is derived from the Latin gracia, meaning grace, graciousness or gratefulness. One formal definition is “the willingness to recognize the unearned increments of value in one’s experience.” Simply said, it is that overwhelming feeling of being thankful for the unexpected gift.

If gratitude is something we feel inside of us, why do we have to express it? According to many studies, expressing gratitude whether verbally or in writing is powerful and can have a real impact on our physical health, emotional wellbeing, motivation, engagement and belonging.

One of my greatest sources of finding my gratitude during this time of COVID-19 is looking to the successes and good health of my own family.

So, what are you thankful for? Since we are on Kwento-Kwentuhan mode, let me share with you some of mine: My husband got to spend a lot of time with our daughter as she came home from college and stayed with us for a year before continuing her adventure in the mainland; our son graduated with a B.S. Fine Arts degree majoring in Digital Animation at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Games and Animation; my husband and I celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary; and I published my first book “Maui 2021 and Beyond.” Whew, these are major accomplishments and I share them not to brag but to express how grateful I am for the blessing. I do not take them for granted. Moreover, I would like to share that along with these big things there are many small things I am thankful for. Gratitude is best when we not only focus on the majors but also acknowledge and be thankful for the many little things in our lives. The kindness of our neighbors sharing their fruit trees with us; the joy our dogs and cats give us; the smile of a child; the touch of a caregiver; having a shelter to live in; and more. Now it is your turn. Again I ask, what are you grateful for these days.

The accomplishment of having published my first book, Maui 2021, is one of the things I am truly grateful for this year.

Not feeling the vibes to be grateful due to the crises going on? Are you getting tired and weary? The good news is gratitude can turn around our negative emotions to positive ones. Let us start with baby steps. When you wake up in the morning, you can immediately acknowledge it is indeed a blessing. Be thankful you are alive. Be thankful you can breathe. Ate breakfast and lunch? Be thankful you have food to eat. As many moms would say when their kids don’t want to eat the food served to them, “Be thankful you have food because there are many hungry people in a third world country or even here in the U.S., who do not have food to eat.” I know you may think this sounds like a cliché but it isn’t. Let us be thankful for what we have and our attitude will change for the better.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner but we do not have to wait for Thanksgiving Day to be thankful. Let’s make it a practice every day.

And thanks for reading this article. I am grateful for you.

Liza Pierce of A Maui Blog is an Interactive Media Strategist in Hawai‘i. She started blogging in 2006 and she loves talking story online and spreading Aloha around the world. She’s been living on Maui since 1994 and considers Maui her home. A wife, a mother, a friend…and so much more. She loves Jesus; Maui Sunsets Catcher; Crazy About Rainbows; End Alzheimer’s Advocate. Her life is full and exciting here on the island of Maui. Liza is currently the Interactive Media Strategist with Wailea Realty Corp.