Gratitude is a prerequisite for receiving.  We are thankful first, and then we are given.  True gratitude, like true love, is unconditional.  We don’t have to receive in order to be thankful.  We have to be thankful in order to receive.  Anyone can be thankful after receiving, just as anyone can love when the benefits for doing so are obvious.  To be thankful without receiving is an act of faith, just as loving in the absence of feeling loved is an act of faith.  The power of faith lies in its ability to create reality.  When Muslims pray to God, asking for whatever they feel like asking on a given day, their supplication begins with a statement of gratitude.  To be able to pray is reason enough to be thankful; to speak, expecting a response, is already an achievement which could not have happened in the absence of grace.  But even more than that, their supplication begins with a statement of gratitude because one doesn’t necessarily have to be thankful for something.  Gratitude is not necessarily a response to having received what one had wished for; in principle, gratitude is simply a state of being.  One should be grateful.  Period.

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