Intentional Reflection on the concept of Gratitude

The only monument in the world built in the shape of a bug, to honour a bug is located in Fort Rucker, Alabama. In 1915 the Mexican boll weevil invaded Southeast Alabama and destroyed 60% of the cotton crop. In desperation, the farmers turned to plant peanuts.


By 1917 the peanut industry had become so profitable that the county harvested more peanuts than any other county in the nation. In gratitude, the people of the town erected a statue and inscribed these words:


‘In profound appreciation of the boll weevil, and what it has done as the herald of prosperity.’


The instrument of their suffering had become the means of their blessing. Voa News

Intentional reflection on the concept of gratitude in any season of our life leads to a deeper understanding of the giftedness of life, the interdependence of humanity and the contribution of others to where we are today.


As a result, the positives around us start to swallow the negatives. Suddenly our hearts are filled with joy followed by a desire to find ways to express our gratitude to God, as well as to others, enriching our relationships.


In his first letter to the church of Corinth in the fourth chapter, Paul asked a profound rhetorical question, which I believe is applicable and relevant beyond the Corinthian church.


Paul asked: ‘What do you possess that you have not received?’ This question is a rhetorical question that demands a pause to reflect on our life, our relationships and our motives. In the process, we discover that the answer is ‘nothing’.


So many have brought us to where we are today: primarily God, then families, friends, strangers and the positive, as well as the negative experiences of life, have all contributed.


Let’s share the gift of gratitude and change the social imagination that leads to relational transformation, a fulfilled self, a sense of belonging, and a harmonious and just society.


Girma Bishaw, Director and Founder, Gratitude Initiative