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Ten Movies That Teach Gratitude

I know Friday is usually my book review post, but today I’m going to switch it up. A list of ten movies that teach gratitude!

1. It Could Happen To You (1994). Gratitude lesson: If you appreciate and give to other people more than yourself, you will receive riches far beyond lottery winnings (Charlie and Yvonne find happiness giving their money away, but when they lose it all, they find love for each other).

2. Les Miserables (2012). Gratitude lesson: Gratitude for one kind act (the priest keeping Jean Valjean from returning to jail) can lead to a life of Godliness.

3. Titanic (1997). Gratitude lesson: Let your gratitude for someone’s presence in your life redirect your life for the better (Rose changes her last name to Jack’s and goes on to live her life according to what he taught her).

This movie also contains Jack’s famous quote: “I figure life’s a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it. You don’t know what hand you’re gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you- to make each day count.”

4. Forrest Gump (1994). Gratitude lesson: Whatever life gives you, even if it’s a handicap, take every opportunity and make the most of it.

5. White Christmas (1954). Gratitude lesson: Saying thank you to someone who’s served you in the past can give everyone hope for the future (Bob and Phil put on a big production to show appreciation to their WWII General, and they all get happy endings with successful businesses and loving families).

6. Finding Nemo (2003). Gratitude lesson: Embrace the world you live in instead of fearing it (Marlin explores the whole ocean in his search to find his son, and learns that while the ocean is sometimes scary, there are always kind people (fish?) to show him the way).

7. Freaky Friday (2003). Gratitude lesson: Walking a mile (or a day) in someone else’s shoes gives you empathy for the challenges the other person faces.

8. Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995). Gratitude lesson: A lifetime of educating others at the expense of your own dreams can lead to riches of the soul (an auditorium full of students, parents and teachers express their thanks to Mr. Holland at the end of his long career). Also see the similar, though more depressing, Dead Poets Society.

9. Pride and Prejudice (1995, 2005). Gratitude lesson: Being in someone’s debt can help you to truly understand him or her (Elizabeth gives Darcy a new perspective on life; Darcy saves Elizabeth’s family honor at great cost to himself).

And finally, the absolute biggest smack-you-in-the-face gratitude movie of all time:

10. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). Gratitude lesson: Open your eyes and appreciate what an impact your life has on the lives of others.

(I personally don’t like this movie, but can’t deny the feeling of gratitude that comes over me when I watch it. I mean, when I’m forced to watch it.)

It's a Wonderful Life

What movies would you add to the list? Comment with your suggestions!

This post is part of a mini-series on gratitude. You can find previous posts here:

Three Steps To Greater Gratitude Mindfulness

How Being Grateful For What You Have Can Give You More

Gratitude Book #1: Anne of Green Gables

5 Ways To Say “Thank You

Receiving Gratitude

Gratitude Book #2: The Glass Castle

Gratitude For My 2013 Life

Gratitude When Times Are Tough

One Response to “Ten Movies That Teach Gratitude”

  1. Carrie says:

    Dead Poets Society and Mr. Holland’s Opus are two of my all-time favorites!

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