God help us to be grateful for our blessings, never to be guilty of the sin of ingratitude, and to instill this same gratitude into the lives of our children. Someone has said that an ungrateful man is like a hog under a tree eating apples and never looking up to see where they come from.
I remember hearing in a talk that the more we express our gratitude to God for our blessings, the more he will bring to our mind other blessings. The more we are aware of to be grateful for, the happier we become.
I never travel across this great nation without experiencing a feeling of gratitude and thanksgiving for all that we have and are. As I see its broad fruitful farms, its humming factories, its gleaming cities, certainly it is easy to realize that we have achieved unequaled material progress in this great country.
No gilded dome swells from the lowly roof to catch the morning or evening beam; but the love and gratitude of united America settle upon it in one eternal sunshine. From beneath that humble roof went forth the intrepid and unselfish warrior, the magistrate who knew no glory but his country's good; to that he returned, happiest when his work was done. There he lived in noble simplicity, there he died in glory and peace. While it stands, the latest generations of the grateful children of America will make this pilgrimage to it as to a shrine; and when it shall fall, if fall it must, the memory and the name of Washington shall shed an eternal glory on the spot.
In most of mankind, gratitude is merely a secret hope of further favours. Note: A saying ascribed to Sir Robert Walpole by Hazlitt in his Wit and Humor: "The gratitude of place-expectants is a lively sense of future favours" is obviously derived from La Rochefoucauld.
Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)
Source: Réflexions ou Sentences et Maximes Morales