The Difference Between Being Thankful And Being Grateful

The Difference Between Being Thankful And Being Grateful

Being thankful is a feeling; being grateful is an action.

As the name denotes, Thanksgiving is a holiday dedicated to the focus of being thankful. This time of year gives us that warm, fuzzy feeling. We have a few days where we feel generally thankful for the wonderful things our lives include. Sounds great, right?

I'm gonna call bull on this one.

The Oxford Dictionary defines the work "thankful" as "pleased and relieved." Both of those things are great feelings. I can't think of anyone who doesn't want to feel pleased and relieved. But that's just it; they're feelings.

The Oxford Dictionary defines the work "grateful" as "showing an appreciation of kindness." This where the difference lies; being thankful is a feeling. Being grateful is an action.

It's easy for us to look around the Thanksgiving dinner table and say that we are thankful. We're surrounded by family, friends, and food. In that time, we're currently experiencing that fuzzy feeling that comes with a holiday gathering. We wait for that one time a year in which we can focus on that thankful feeling. But where is the practice of that thankfulness? Where do we draw the line between a shallow feeling and an intentional way of life?

Gratitude is when we dwell on more than just the feeling of thankfulness. Thankfulness is the first step. We have to have that initial feeling to build upon, and we build upon it by redirecting our focus onto making gratefulness a steady part of our lives, 365 days a year.

But our lives are busy. They distract us from remembering the important things. We get so caught up in our school work, our day jobs, our relationship issues, our bills, and our responsibilities that we forget to shift our perspective on a regular basis. I know that there aren't many of us who each day dwell on how blessed and lucky we are to have the lives that we do.

So how do we actually gain that perspective and keep it all year round?

The key is keeping gratitude at the forefront of our lives. It's not just thinking about how thankful we are to have what we do. It's about living out that gratitude through the simple things we do every day. When we gear our minds towards focusing on how privileged we are, it makes it easier for us to want to bless the other people in our lives. Gratitude is what prompts you to pay for a stranger's coffee; because you recognize your own financial blessings and see that you can help another person out, maybe redirecting the tone of their day. It's what prompts you to remind your loved ones how important they are to you. It's what encourages you at the end of a long, hard day, because you know that it's actually been a far better day than you've made it out to be.

Being thankful is awesome. Being grateful is even more awesome. Remind yourself of it every day in the upcoming year, and you'll find that the next Thanksgiving isn't all too different from every other day.

Cover Image Credit: google

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3 Amazing Places To Spend Spring Break, As Told By College Students

aka Anywhere In Florida, USA.

"So, where are y'all headed for spring break?"

It's been a nanosecond since I've asked the question in the crowded cafeteria, and all of a sudden I'm bombarded with responses from not just from my friends, but virtual strangers.

"I'm headed to New Orleans!"

"Canada, here!"

"Going to spend time with my family up in Ohio."

"Maybe spend some time in Paris, and then head to Belgium..."

You get the picture. (Rich college kids, amirite?)

From hearing all of these enthusiastic responses, I was able to sum up the three most popular places to spend spring break as recounted by my fellow college students. So, without further ado, here they are! (You have been warned.)

1. HOME. (Remember what that was?)

Pros: Free lodging and your mom's delicious home-cooked food. You get to see your old high school buddies and visit old haunts. And, most importantly, you get to see your parents!!

Cons: With old high school buddies comes old high school drama and the like. I'm from Orlando, but maybe you're from Nowhere, USA. What the hell am I supposed to do for a whole week? And, most importantly, you get to see your parents...

2. Anywhere in Florida, USA

As someone who's actually from Orlando (and understands its beauty besides Disney), hearing this from those pesky Northerners always gets old.


"I'm headed to Daytona with the girls!"


"My boyfriend and I are headed to Disney World. Can't wait!"

Well, it's good and fine that y'all wanna head over. But seriously? Winter Park has a gorgeous historical area, and Dr. Phillips has a great performing arts center. Try something new for a change, instead of submitting yourself to the overwhelming pull of Florida's tourism and commercialism industries. Who knows? You might just be surprised about how much fun you'll have!

3. Somewhere out of the country. (A posh place, obvs.)

You've always got those people. You see them in college all the time: Burberry rain coat, Gucci shoes, Michael Kors shades, and a trenta-sized Starbucks latte. Behold: the face of privilege.*

"Oh, I'm just going to drop by Switzerland and visit my pen pal, you know how it goes."

"My father has a time-share in Costa Rica, so we're going to head there."

"We were really torn between Jamaica or Mexico, but we got a last-minute set of first class tickets to Brazil, so I guess we'll just go there."

It's always interesting to see who goes where. To such people, I wish you many a meal, a shopping spree, and a vaccine--you don't know what lurks in those Costa Rican waters.

Either way, I hope y'all have a great spring break! I know I did. Stay safe, stay full, and stay satirical. (I know I will!)

*I'm just messing with y'all. I hope you guys enjoy your trips!

Cover Image Credit: Karan Varshnai

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Life From The Perspective Of A Snowplow Victim

From being hurt, acknowledging the pain and finally to recovering, all of the traumas experienced throughout one's lifetime follow this pattern.

We’ve all used the “I feel like I got hit by a truck” hyperbole before. Whether it be that hangover from Thirsty Thursday creeping in Friday morning or waking up with every muscle in your body is sore from that spin class you did the day before and were too out of shape to be in, people use this line haphazardly to describe whatever it is their feeling. But what happens when you actually are hit by that truck, specifically a plow truck moving snow down a main street on your college campus. How does someone describe that severe pain.

As the little freshman who actually was hit by this hypothetical snowplow and left in a snowbank, I feel that the only appropriate line for this is “I feel like I got hit by life.”

As a first-year student at a large university in a new state far from home, everyday arguably feels like a slap in the face by life. It wasn’t until this week did I literally and metaphorically get plowed by life.

It all starts with that first moment of contact when who have no idea what is happening, why, or what you’ve done to get to this point. Then comes shock and disbelief as you try to wrap your head around what the heck is happening to you. Next, we predict the outcome - will I get an A on that exam I didn’t know was scheduled until two days before? Or will I die of hypothermia in a pile of snow because my purple coat wasn’t enough for the driver to notice I was in the street?

No matter the trauma experienced, whether it be physical, mental or emotional, it always seems to end with you picking yourself up, determining just how badly you were hurt and if those injuries sustained are ones that can heal on their own or if professional help is needed. In my case of the snowplow rest assured, I sought out the professional medical help, but all those little face smacks of last-minute exams and papers follow this same pattern. We get hurt, we allow ourselves a few minutes to come back down to reality, and we move on. And that’s life - a seemingly endless cycle of mistakes, pain, and resolution.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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