THE COUNSELOR'S CORNER: Thanksgiving and gratitude

We celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday. Research has shown that grateful people rewire their brains to be happier. When I experience a grateful person, I experience a happy person. Science is now able to tell us that gratitude has tremendous benefits physically and spiritually.

A grateful person uplifts people who are in their presence. A grateful community will uplift the communities that surround it. A grateful country can uplift the whole world. But gratitude is connected with love and kindness and compassion.

Men and women who speak kindly and compassionately about others are filled with gratitude. This attitude of gratitude changes people into better versions of their self.

We celebrate every year the importance of being grateful at the end of November.

I want to be around grateful people. I must be a grateful person to help the very best in others to surface with love and gratitude. When I decide to be grateful and loving towards others, I become an instrument of positive change in the world.

The first Thanksgiving has become enshrined in our heart and minds. It was a simple day of gratitude and sharing between Native Americans and our ancestors from Europe. What a lesson for all of us to remember.

If I develop an attitude of excluding other people or an attitude of condemning and judging other people, my gratefulness goes right out the window.

If I maintain an attitude of gratefulness and kindness, I will probably live a longer and healthier life and help others to do the same.

The people in my life that have influenced me the most have been grateful and loving and humble. The people that do not influence me in a positive manner are those who speak with condemnation of others, criticism and personal attacks about others and constant self- pre-occupation about their own importance. I can act this way at times and it never helps anyone else and it never helps me.

I love Thanksgiving because gratitude and sharing a wonderful meal with family and friends seems to be the attitude of the whole day. Even if the Lions lose on Thanksgiving Day, I can still be happy and grateful.

There is good in everything and everyone. But it takes a conscious and grateful heart to realize this and look for this.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May each of us have an attitude of gratitude that we practice every day of our lives. It will lighten our glorious journey through life and help make the world a peaceful and loving place in which to live in harmony and love and compassion. And we will all begin to experience the peace of God which I think will be with us forever as long as I am open to it. Gratitude causes me to be open to so many things.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage & family therapist and limited licensed psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center. He conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Michigan. Cavaiani is associate editor and contributing writer for Human Development Magazine. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: and his website is

Published: Tue, Nov 26, 2019