Gratitude vs. Appreciation

This year, someone brought to my attention the difference between gratitude and appreciation. I had to really ponder the difference and I came to the conclusion that their contention that it is better to appreciate something than be grateful for it makes good sense. I’ll begin with the definition of the two words.

GRATITUDE: the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: He expressed his gratitude to everyone on the staff.

1. gratitude; thankful recognition: They showed their appreciation by giving him a gold watch.
2. the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value.
3. clear perception or recognition, esp. of aesthetic quality: a course in art appreciation.
4. an increase or rise in the value of property, goods, etc.
5. critical notice; evaluation; opinion, as of a situation, person, etc.
6. a critique or written evaluation, esp. when favorable.

As you can see, appreciation = gratitude. However, there is one slight distinction that my friend pointed out to me. Gratitude entails giving power to something other than and outside of yourself, while Appreciation is an action requiring recognition by the self, making it something that comes from within.

I wanted to debate this with my friend but, after thinking about it, I understood the difference and have realigned my thinking and my verbalization of my thankfulness in accordance. So, instead of saying, “I am grateful” for something or someone, now, I say, “I appreciate” something or someone. It keeps the power of creativity in my heart rather than sending or placing that creativity somewhere outside of myself.

For two years, I was a member of and I developed a heightened consciousness of the power of being thankful. Many sites beckon us to recognize the power of gratitude and appreciation. You have to wonder why they list both activities instead of just one – gratitutde. Clearly, there is a difference between the two. It’s just a matter of knowing the difference. As my friend showed me, gratitude goes outside of you, while appreciation comes from within and keeps the eye on the ball of self-creation. In other words, when I am appreciating something, I am keeping ME in the equation. When I am grateful for something, I’m going outside of ME.

Since each of us is the CREATOR of our own World, it is appreciation that keeps us responsive to all stimuli.

Here’s a poem I wrote before understanding this difference.

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I AM Grateful for Life to learn lessons
My soul yearns to experience
I AM Grateful for Love that leads me in Divine Spirit
I AM Grateful for Joy of a new day
I AM Grateful for eyes to see beauty
I AM Grateful for ears to hear birds
I AM Grateful for Others who follow and lead
I AM Grateful for Work and Strength
I AM Grateful for Knowledge
I AM Grateful for a seeking Heart
I AM Grateful for Rage. It makes me think
It makes me act, react and ponder
I AM Grateful for technology that lets me say
I AM the Grateful Goddess!

Grateful Goddess Joan

HERE’S THE SAME SENTIMENT, substituting “AM Grateful for” with “Appreciate”

I Appreciate Life to learn lessons
My soul yearns to experience
I Appreciate Love that leads me in Divine Spirit
I Appreciate Joy of a new day
I Appreciate eyes to see beauty
I Appreciate ears to hear birds
I Appreciate Others who follow and lead
I Appreciate Work and Strength
I Appreciate Knowledge
I Appreciate a seeking Heart
I Appreciate Rage. It makes me think
It makes me act, react and ponder
I Appreciate technology that lets me say
I AM the Appreciative Goddess!

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Watch this video:


A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him,

“Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

“She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be an Obama Democrat.”

“I am,”replied the man. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help to me.”

The man smiled and responded, “You must be a Republican.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist. “How did you know?”

“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where you are or where you are going. You’ve risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it’s my fault.”

See what President Obama has done.

We Speak Words


What do they mean?

People speak all kinds of things into existence, every minute, hour, day. We create the world with the words we speak, hardly understanding that instead of creating turmoil, angst and chaos, we can create peace, harmony and prosperity, simply by changing the WORDS WE SPEAK.

My newsletter is a commentary on numerous subjects from spirituality to homelessness, racial profiling and the President of the United States.

Go there – WORDS WE SPEAK – pick one or more of the pages (93) and leave your comments here.

Thank you,