Secular Gratitude

Do you ever find yourself in an awkward position where a spiritual grace is being said and you are conflicted about whether you should bow your head, clasp your hands, and close your eyes…out of ‘respect’ or a feeling of some sort of obligation? Holiday season means more family dinners and company work parties… what do you do?

Well, here are a couple of suggestions to make those conflicted moments bearable.

  1. You could bow your head, clasp your hands and close your eyes and think about how much life would be easier if people would thank real people instead of those make believe spirits.
  2. You could keep your head raised, open your eyes and look for other non-believers in the midst.
  3. You can also stand up and offer a secular gratitude, it could be that no one knows that these exist and would be pleasantly surprised and truly grateful when they hear you say one.

Secular Gratitude

If you would like to add to the list, email us via the contact page.

I found the below list from the site:

A small secular grace

Thanks to the hands that brought our food
and those who worked to grow it,
what we receive from the plants and beasts,
and the earth for all we owe it.

(Peter Lindenmayer, Canberra, Australia)

Earth we thank you for our food,
For work and play and all that’s good,
For wind and rain and sun above,
But most of all for those we love.

(Blogger named McIntaggart)

All life is one, and everything that lives is connected: plants, animals and people.
(original first line… “…lives is holy: plants, animals, Man)
All must eat to live and nourish one another.
We bless the lives that have died to give us food.
Let us eat consciously, resolving by our work to pay the debt of our existence.
(John G. Bennett)

Secular Version of Let There Be Peace on Earth 
(original version written by Sy Miller and Bill Jackson.)

Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.
Let There Be Peace on Earth, the peace that we long to see!
With Earth as our mother, family all are we.
Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.
With ev’ry breath I take, let this be my solemn vow;
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally!
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

Gratitude means taking a moment to pause and reflect on the good in our lives.  I am grateful for…

“I am grateful for _______.”

“May this sharing of food foster peace and understanding among us. May it bring us to the recognition that we depend on each other for all the good we can ever hope to receive, and that all the good we can hope to accomplish rests in helping others in turn.” (Adam Lee)

“As we have earned this food, so must we earn all that is valuable in our lives.”  (O.T. Nelson)

In this plate of food, I see the entire universe supporting my existence.
     – Zen blessing

“What a great occasion! We are gathered here together in the safety of our home, each of us taking a moment from our busy, separate lives, to enjoy this wonderful meal with ones we love. Let this evening be a special time in our lives, a blessed stopping point in which we can simply enjoy who we are, where we are, and what we are doing. Let us enjoy this magnificent now with family and friends. Thank you, mother, for preparing this beautiful meal.”

“We have created this meal to serve and sustain our lives. Let us enjoy this meal in the full knowledge that all life is purposeful action aimed toward our highest value, our own precious lives and happiness.”

“We receive this food in gratitude to all beings
Who helped or sacrificed to bring it to our table,
And vow to respond in turn to those in need
With wisdom and compassion.” (Buddhist meal gatha)

“As we go through life, the most important thing we can collect is good memories.  Thank you all for being here today to share this meal as a treasured part of that collection.”

“We have created this meal to serve and sustain our lives. Let us enjoy this meal in the full knowledge that all life is purposeful action aimed toward our highest value.” (Fellowship of Reason)

/For the meal we are about to eat,
/For those who made it possible,
/And for those with whom we are about to share it,
/We are thankful.

/In this home all are one
/As are the earth, the stars and sun
/With head and heart and hands be blessed
/That each of us may do our best

/As we prepare to eat,
/Let us remember the plants and animals,
/The labor of those who harvested the food
/And the effort of the cook who prepared it for us.
/Thank you!

-Jenny (blogger at Dishwasher Required)

For the longer list go to:

By Nina