This blog originally appeared in eJewishPhilanthropy on November 16, 2014.

‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say.
I say that one a lot.
Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.
Alice Walker

Gratitude. We learn from an early age that it is important to be grateful, to appreciate what we have – to say thank you.  Indeed, a national survey on gratitude found that more than 95 percent of Americans consider it “somewhat” to “very” important for mothers and fathers to teach gratitude. It’s only polite, after all. Yet it goes beyond good manners; one recent report shows that among early adolescents, gratitude serves as an important motivation to contribute to society. Another report shows that grateful people give, on average, 20% more time and money to charity (see this and other key findings on this infographic). We also know, in our guts, that an appreciation of all that we have – health, wealth, time, privilege – often drives us to give.

To read the entire blog post, click here.