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Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving season is a perfect time to look around and think of all that we are thankful for. Many of us do this as a tradition, and some of us have made our own traditions, for example, we used to ask our kids at our family dinners and gatherings what they were thankful for during their day. However, is being thankful the same as being grateful? And does “thankful” mean the same as being grateful? 

Contrary to what many may think, there is a difference between being thankful and grateful.

“Thankful,” such as saying “thank you” when someone does something nice or helpful, is an expression of appreciation for something that another person has done for you. Many have learned to be polite, with society and many a child’s upbringing conditioning people to express thanks for a kind act, either with words, a gift or even cards.

Being grateful is having a sense of thankfulness that comes from a feeling within rather than a kind gesture. Being grateful or having gratitude can be directed at not only people you appreciate but things that you feel have made your life easier or more rewarding. You can be grateful for your parents that have supported you as you worked your way through college and achieved your degree. And you can be grateful for people like your mother, who gave you guidance and good advice over the years—both are worthy of gratitude! 

Gratitude is often much more memorable than thankfulness. It can last a long time. For many who focus on gratitude regularly, it is a way of life—an attitude of gratitude.  

We hear of random acts of kindness or paying it forward, and it’s important to express our thanks for people who go out of their way to do these nice gestures. It is a proven fact that when you do this, both parties are rewarded. So yes, there is a difference between being thankful and grateful… 

By striving to make gratitude a discipline, many things such as time spent with loved ones, takes on a new depth of meaning. Try making gratitude something you focus on and practice in a deliberate way…whether it is expressed outwardly or felt inwardly, it will change you and the relationships in your life for the better! Having both thankfulness and being grateful in your life are truly life-changing!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tune in to the Kim Pagano Radio Show, “The Brighter Side of Life,” Saturdays from 7 to 8 a.m., stream it at or download Kim’s podcast and take her with you to brighten up your day!!