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quotations about gratitude

Unwanted favours gain no gratitude.

SOPHOCLES, Oedipus at Colonus

From the moment we expect gratitude, we forfeit it.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

When gratitude has become a matter of reasoning there are many ways of escaping from its bonds.

GEORGE ELIOT, Middlemarch

Next to ingratitude, the most painful thing to bear is gratitude.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

You cannot ensure the gratitude of others for a favour conferred upon them in the way which is most agreeable to yourself.

ARTHUR HELPS, Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd

Gratitude is best and most effective when it does not evaporate itself in empty phrases.

ISAAC ASIMOV, Foundation and Empire

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul; and the heart of man knoweth none more fragrant. While its opponent, ingratitude, is a deadly weed; not only poisonous in itself but impregnating the very atmosphere in which it grows, with fetid vapors.

HOSEA BALLOU, Treasury of Thought

No metaphysician ever felt the deficiency of language so much as the grateful.


Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.

MAYA ANGELOU, Celebrations

The unthankful heart, like my finger in the sand, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find in every hour some heavenly blessings.


Gratitude is a virtue that has commonly profit annexed to it.

EPICURUS, attributed, Day's Collacon

Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.

JOHN ORTBERG, When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

Those who have the ability to be grateful are the ones who have the ability to achieve greatness.

STEVE MARABOLI, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most perfect prayer.


Gratitude always comes into play; research shows that people are happier if they are grateful for the positive things in their lives, rather than worrying about what might be missing.


As gratitude is a necessary, and a glorious virtue, so also it is an obvious, a cheap, and an easy one; so obvious that wherever there is life there is a place for it; so cheap, that the covetous man may be gratified without expense, and so easy that the sluggard may be so likewise without labor.

SENECA, Morals

Whatever you appreciate and give thanks for will increase in your life.

SANAYA ROMAN, Living with Joy

Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant—a seed—this plants the giant miracle.

ANN VOSKAMP, One Thousand Gifts

There is a selfishness even in gratitude when it is too profuse; to be over-thankful for one favor is in effect to lay out for another.


He who does not reflect his life back to God in gratitude does not know himself.

ALBERT SCHWEITZER, Reverence for Life

Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.

C. S. LEWIS, The Screwtape Letters

Don't overload Gratitude; if you do, she'll kick.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1741

No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.

ELIE WIESEL, Nobel acceptance speech, Dec. 10, 1986

We absolve a friend from gratitude when we remind him of a favor.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

The grateful heart will always find opportunities to show its gratitude.

AESOP, "The Ant and the Dove", Aesop's Fables

The gratitude of most men is only a secret desire to receive more favours.


Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.

MAYA ANGELOU, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

There is no excess in the world so commendable as excessive gratitude.

JEAN DE LA BRUYÈRE, "Of the Affections", Les Caractères

Read Walter Matthews' essay on Gratitude

Read William McEwen's essay: On Gratitude


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