Your Grandmother's Cherokee

Preserving the Cherokee language, one word at a time.

HAPPY is an active verb--WORRY is not

In Cherokee language, HAPPY is an active verb.  The form of it means that someone is doing an action.  Galieliga = I am happy (right now).  Its meaning also includes the feeling of being thankful.

Another, related word means being THANKFUL TO SOMEONE, and always includes information on who is being thankful to whom.  Gvyalihelitseha = I am thankful to you (one person) right now. 

The word for WORRY is not an active verb.  Agweliha = I am worrying (right now.)  It is based on the word for thinking.  Geli’a = I am thinking, or I think so.  The word for worry in Cherokee really means “It is thinking me.”  This seems like a good description for being worried, when a thought seems to go round and round in your mind.

Some modern studies show that people who practice being grateful every day tend to be happier.  They suggest that if you take action to be thankful--by making lists or thanking people- that you will be happier.  It seems that Cherokee people knew this long ago.

Didaliheligi –Let’s all be happy/thankful!

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