Home Family & SocietyRelationship with Life & Society Practicing Gratitude in Vulnerable Times

Practicing Gratitude in Vulnerable Times

written by Barry and Joyce Vissell April 28, 2020
Practicing Gratitude in Vulnerable Times

A lot of books have been written about gratitude. I think it is a well-received idea that practicing gratitude is a nice thing to do. It is polite and people will like you more when you notice them and give thanks, and relationships thrive with expressions of gratitude. But I want to address the use of gratitude in our most vulnerable times, when it is not about being polite, nice or wanting to be liked.

Gratitude During a Personal Crisis

When I was twenty years old, I almost died at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. I was a nursing student there at the time and developed septicemia (a widespread bacterial infection in my blood) from a mismanaged dental emergency from a small dentist in upstate NY — I was up there visiting Barry. Once back at the University, my fever quickly soared to a dangerous 107. I had to be packed in ice and was placed in the isolation ICU unit. The chief physician called my parents in Buffalo to tell them they must rush to my side, as he believed I would die quickly.

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