The Power of Gratitude: Advice from a Great Roman Philosopher

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

November is the month to celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. Historically, it was a time to celebrate and give thanks for the bountiful harvest of the season and to share this abundance with friends and family. What a magnificent idea! Although it lasts for only a single day, Thanksgiving Day is a constant reminder to stop and give thanks for our “bountiful harvest.”

Thanksgiving Day is my all-time favorite holiday of the year!


Because I stop and think about all the wonderful things and experiences in my life. I pause and appreciate them. I feel the gratitude and that allows me to experience many other great feelings: Joy, Abundance, Love and Inspiration. But it all begins with gratitude.

Cicero, who was one of the world’s greatest philosophers, said:

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

Do you remember Cicero from your philosophy or humanities classes in college? Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC) was a Roman politician, philosopher, lawyer and orator. In fact, he was known as one of Rome’s greatest orators. (This was during the time of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony!) Although Cicero wasn’t born into the most wealthy or powerful families in Rome, he distinguished himself as a great and prolific writer of political and philosophical texts. Many of these texts still exist today.

Cicero’s life wasn’t always easy. He was exiled from the great Roman Empire, had his property confiscated and lost his beloved daughter Tullia to illness. During his exile is when he studied and wrote many of his great philosophical texts. He also wrote one of his most profound texts while grieving for his daughter.

His “greatness of gratitude” quotation takes on a strong meaning showing the power of this “virtue” that gives rise to all other “virtues.” Gratitude was powerful 2,000 years ago—and it is still powerful today!

What does it mean?

Showing gratitude (or being grateful) puts you on the path to experiencing and receiving your “bountiful harvest.” It opens the door to experiencing joy, true happiness, love, prosperity and other forms of abundance. Without gratitude, the doors to your “bountiful harvest” can remain closed.

What is the lesson?

Be grateful! Feel and express gratitude for everything in your life—both the “feel good” things and those that don’t feel so good.

Be grateful for the people in your life—both the wonderful and loving people as well as the difficult people.

Gratitude is your path to experiencing the best that life has to offer!

Take Cicero’s advice and reap the benefits of a grateful mind and heart!

Be grateful for and enjoy your bountiful harvest!

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