In thanksgiving for life, I pledge to overcome the illusion of ENTITLEMENT by reminding myself that everything is gift and, thus, to live GRATEFULLY. 

Let these words settle into your whole being. When you feel complete with your meditation on the pledge, deepen your exploration with the following reflections and practice suggestions.

  • Br. David asserts that entitlement is simply an illusion. Can we see how this might be true as we go about our day?
  • Many of us assume that we deserve and are entitled to another day, a car that starts, a good mood…Why is it that we feel we are entitled to any of what we receive and so often experience disappointment as a result?
  • Recognize the countless gifts that life offers us. Each moment is rich with gifts — our breath, our hands, the sky and the trees, our lungs, the device through which you are reading this, the ability to read…
  • Notice how you feel as you bring to mind some of the many gifts in your life, knowing that entitlement has nothing to do with receiving those gifts.
  • Commit to taking none of these gifts for granted and, thus, to live gratefully.

Should you be inspired, please leave a reflection below…

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Enjoy the full five-day In Thanksgiving for Life practice.

Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

About the author

Brother David Steindl-Rast — author, scholar, and Benedictine monk — is beloved the world over for his enduring message about gratefulness as the true source of lasting happiness. Known to many as the “grandfather of gratitude,” Br. David has been a source of inspiration and spiritual friendship to countless leaders and luminaries around the world including Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton, and more. He has been one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement, and has taught with thought-leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield, and Roshi Joan Halifax. His wisdom has been featured in recent interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Krista Tippett, and Tami Simon and his TED talk has been viewed almost 10,000,000 times. Learn more about Br. David here.