Elul or not, I strive to live my life in a state of gratitude. Having been extravagantly blessed, it’s generally a pretty easy state to inhabit. Yet I’ve been thinking lately that gratitude is not enough. It’s not that I’m feeling greedy for more gratitude, but rather that I am realizing that gratitude can be static, almost smug. If it is not inspiring you to share with your neighbor and to reach out in thoughtfulness to others, gratitude is not doing its job. When we say a blessing, we thank G-d for the food or the sabbath or whatnot. Yet the opportunity for gratitude is incomplete if it does not move us to share our food with the hungry or share Shabbat with our community. Gratitude at its best is a spur to move us to generosity and kindness.
May we all be blessed with what we need, the gratitude to appreciate it, and the energy to use it to heal the world.