Best Gratitude Quotes



This is a collection of gratitude quotes.  If you want to get your thanks on, or flex your attitude of gratitude, these quotes should help you out.

With these gratitude quotes, you have a collection of wisdom at your fingertips.   This collection includes words of wisdom from a variety of sources including Aesop, Cicero, Paige, Oprah, and more.

What Gratitude Quotes Teach Us

While the quote may vary, they teach us a few key things about gratitude.  They teach us that appreciation is a deep need within us.

They teach us that a little thanks can go a long way.  They also teach us that there is always something to be grateful for, or, on the flip side, that things can always be worse.

They teach us that gratitude can be tough to express, as we struggle to find the right words.

Perhaps the most important lesson of all, is that they teach us that gratitude is the key to our own joy and happiness.  If you don’t have enough joy or happiness in your life, just maybe, gratitude is the missing ingredient.

Top 10 Quotes on Gratitude

Here are my top ten favorite gratitude quotes:

  1. “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer
  2. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” — William Arthur Ward
  3. “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” – Cicero
  4. “Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions, especially when it is deep.” — Felix Frankfurter
  5. “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” – Buddha
  6. “Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for.” — Barry Neil Kaufman
  7. “One regret dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough.” — Hafiz of Persia
  8. “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” — Gertrude Stein
  9. “Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” — Kahlil Gibran
  10. “What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.” — Oprah Winfrey

Best Quotes on Gratitude

Here is my collection of gratitude quotes organized A – Z:


“Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude.”


“A man’s indebtedness is not virtue; his repayment is. Virtue begins when he dedicates himself actively  to the job of gratitude.”

Ruth Benedict

“Ambition breaks the ties of blood, and forgets the obligations of gratitude.”


“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.”

Margaret Cousins

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

John F. Kennedy

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”

Brian Tracy

“Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”

Satchell Paige

“Every professional athlete owes a debt of gratitude to the fans and management, and pays an installment every time he plays. He should never miss a payment.”

Bobby Hull

“Friendship based solely upon gratitude is like a photograph; with time it fades.”

Carmen Sylva

“Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — because we will always want to have something else or something more.”

David Steindl-Rast

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”

John Milton

“Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.”

Eileen Caddy

“Gratitude is a burden upon our imperfect nature, and we are but too willing to ease ourselves of it, or at least to lighten it as much as we can.”

Philip Stanhope

“Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Gratitude is one of those things that cannot be bought. It must be born with men, or else all the obligations in the world will not create it.”

Edward F. Halifax

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”

Henry Ward Beecher

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”

Henry Van Dyke

“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.”

Jacques Maritain

“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.”


“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.”

Lionel Hampton

“Gratitude isn’t a burdening emotion.”

Loretta Young

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie

“Gratitude to gratitude always gives birth.”


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Melody Beattie

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”

Denis Waitley

“Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude.”

Joseph Wood Krutch

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Meister Eckhart

“It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.”

Roberto Benigni

“Joy is a heart full and a mind purified by gratitude.”

Marietta McCarty

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”

Karl Barth

“Kindness trumps greed: it asks for sharing. Kindness trumps fear: it calls forth gratefulness and love. Kindness trumps even stupidity, for with sharing and love, one learns.”

Marc Estrin

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

Marcel Proust

“Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly is having to accept it.”

William Faulkner

“Next to ingratitude the most painful thing to bear is gratitude.”

Henry Ward Beecher

“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”

Alfred North Whitehead

“One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life.”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.”

Carl Jung

“One of the surest evidences of friendship that one individual can display to another is telling him gently of a fault. If any other can excel it, it is listening to such a disclosure with gratitude, and amending the error.”

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”

Henri Frederic Amiel

“The debt of gratitude we owe our mother and father goes forward, not backward. What we owe our parents is the bill presented to us by our children.”

Nancy Friday

“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”

William James

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”

Eric Hoffer

“There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it.”


“To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.”

Albert Schweitzer

“We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.” — Ellen Goodman

“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears.”

Tony Robbins

“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”

G. K. Chesterton


Please feel free to share your favorite quote, insight, or action on gratitude.

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  1. “What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.” — Oprah Winfrey

    I believe this. I don’t see it as a game or some kind of “magic.” To me, the act of focusing on goodness and being grateful is a spiritual act. And today I’m thankful for how the goodness in my life multiplies time and time again.

  2. @ Angie — Our focus sure does expand. I heard a lot of it has to do with our RAS (reticular activating system).

    I notice that what I focus on changes the questions I ask, the things I notice, what opportunities I respond to, how I interpret events and make meaning, and it colors my whole experience.

    It’s great to hear your goodness grows. Way to be.

  3. Hi JD .. I endorse Jimmy’s comment .. great collection for Thanksgiving .. and that concomitant positiveness can over come much.

    Cheers Hilary

  4. @ Jimmy — Thank you. I think gratitude, appreciation, and compassion lift us in powerful ways, while we lift other.

    @ Hilary — Thank you. The next time I’m feeling down, I think gratitude will be the first friend I call on.

  5. J.D.,

    Thank you for this wonderful post. Not only did you do the work of collecting these wonderful quotes, but you added your own personal context in your opening paragraph. Beautifully done!

    I am printing and sharing. (I show the link so people know where it originated from.) My compliments to you: you may appreciate how you have touched others and added to Thanksgiving celebrations. With luck, folks won’t let it end with Thanksgiving day.

    Your work did something else. As I was lying in bed getting ready to sleep, a thought popped into my head. I jumped up and wrote it down:
    If you start from a position of gratitude,
    then every dish life serves you becomes dessert.

    Thanks for being,

    — Bob F.

  6. […] Quotes. Give students their own gratitude quote (here’s a great list of quotes) and have them reflect upon and write about what their quote means to them. […]

  7. […] nothing. I must lean in and see challenge as a necessary contrast to simplicity. Below are a few quotes I believe will remind us all to focus on gratitude. It is my sincere hope that all of us will do […]

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