“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

—Marcus Tullius Cicero

Imagine gratitude as the sun. Every morning, it rises, casting its golden rays over the world. It illuminates our lives, showering everything with light, warmth, and positivity. This is the essence of gratitude—a pervasive, encompassing force that makes everything else look brighter and warmer.

Now, picture other virtues as plants. They’re sown in the soil of our character. Like tiny seeds, they remain dormant, waiting for that spark to stimulate their growth. That spark, that catalyst, is gratitude.

Gratitude is the dawn that triggers the germination of these seeds. It gently wakes up humility, stirs courage, encourages generosity. Its warmth cultivates love, fosters empathy, nurtures compassion. Each virtue, in its unique way, reaches towards the light, empowered by the energy of gratitude.

As these virtues grow, they intertwine, forming a robust garden of character. But it is gratitude that creates the conditions for growth. It is the source, the rain and the sun. Without it, virtues may lay dormant, their potential beauty and strength unrealized.

Simply put, gratitude is not just a virtue. It is the master key that unlocks all other virtues. It’s the life-giving sun that allows a garden of virtues to thrive in our character, beautifying our lives and the lives of those around us.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.