Blessings can weaken the curses of daily news

Training people to view their own life positively is increasingly important, especially because many people form all kinds of negative attitudes about life based on the news media’s constant emphasis on all the world’s evils and tragedies.

It is obvious that we all will suffer the loss of people we love to the inevitability of death. This is painful and sorrowful. Everyone also fears having a serious illness and their own eventual death. Today, fears, depression, anxiety, and frustration, create misery for an increasing number of people.

One way of influencing people to think positively about their lives is to teach them the importance of saying blessings for the many things they experience in their ordinary daily and weekly life, and at occasional extraordinary times.

Frequently saying daily blessings helps make people grateful for all the good things we take for granted. Gratitude expressed to God and to other people, for their daily activities helps us create positive awarenesses and outcomes for ourselves.

For example, a study of 468 married individuals recently published in the journal Personal Relationships found that “feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you, directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last,” said study co-author Ted Futris.

The results indicated that spousal expression of gratitude was the most consistent significant predictor of marital quality. “It goes to show the power of ‘thank you,'” said the study’s lead author Allen Barton.

The study also found that higher levels of spousal gratitude expressions protected men’s and women’s divorce proneness as well as women’s marital commitment from the negative effects of poor communication during conflict. “This is the first study to document the protective effect that feeling appreciated by your spouse can have for marriages,”

Gratitude was measured in terms of the degree to which individuals felt appreciated by their spouse, valued by their spouse and acknowledged when they did something nice for their spouse.

Instead of saying ‘God bless you” when someone sneezes; we would do much better by saying ‘God bless you” to the family members and friends who routinely give us reasons to gratefully bless them.

If we thank God for the people who bless us, as well as our activities in the natural world around us, our blessings will increase and the curses of life can be lessened.

It is a Mitsvah to say blessings at every meal over food and drink. Every morning when we awaken it is a Mitsvah to say several blessings because various parts of our mind and body are still working.

Adding blessings for our most important relationships that we often take for granted, will help make our lives more blessed.

Our sages urged us to thank God for as many blessings as we can, since the more blessings you can say, the more blessed you are. Indeed, Jewish tradition maintains that everyone who is able to say 100 blessings a day is truly blessed.

About the Author
Rabbi Allen S. Maller has published over 250 articles on Jewish values in over a dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim magazines and web sites. Rabbi Maller is the author of "Tikunay Nefashot," a spiritually meaningful High Holy Day Machzor, two books of children's short stories, and a popular account of Jewish Mysticism entitled, "God, Sex and Kabbalah." His most recent books are "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms' and "Which Religion Is Right For You?: A 21st Century Kuzari" both available on Amazon.
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