In thanksgiving for life, I pledge to overcome my GREED, that confuses wants with needs, by trusting that enough for all our needs is given to us and to share GENEROUSLY what I so generously receive.

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.

  • Throughout the day, experiment with gently questioning your “needs,” recognizing that each of us has basic needs that do indeed need to be met. In this experiment, we are not referring to those foundational needs. Consider instead: Do I really need to be right? Do I need the validation from others that I might be seeking? Is this purchase necessary? When I feel that I need “more” of something, can I pause to consider whether this is true?
  • Notice how it feels in your body when you think you need something. Notice if it feels different when you pause to consider whether the need is true, or might be a perception.
  • Practice being generous with what life has offered you. Give something meaningful to someone else today — the larger portion of pie, a gift without reason, recognition of someone’s hard work or kindness, your time or full attention even though you may be feeling you don’t have time to spare. How does it feel? What impact does your generosity have on you and those around you? 
  • How might recognizing that all of life is a gift and that our lives are possible only through the gifts of others impact the way you experience generosity?
  • Commit to discerning between needs and wants, trusting that we are part of a web of give-and-take in which we always have something to both offer and to receive. 

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.