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Gratitude is nothing less than the key to happiness.

For this penetrating insight into gratefulness, I am grateful to Dennis Prager, author of the shrewd and perceptive "Happiness is a Serious Problem."

"There is a 'secret to happiness,'" Prager writes, "and it is gratitude. All happy people are grateful, and ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that it is being unhappy that

leads people to complain, but it is truer to say that it is complaining that leads to people becoming unhappy. Become grateful and you will become a much happier person."

This is a keen observation, and it helps explain why the Judeo-Christian tradition places such emphasis on thanking God. The liturgy is filled with expressions of gratitude. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord," begins the 92nd Psalm.

Why? Because God needs our gratitude? No: because we need it.

Learning to be thankful, whether to God or to other people, is ...

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