Do you ever get annoyed when you hear the word gratitude?
How do you feel when you hear that you “should” be grateful?
Frankly, it has not my favorite word because I have seen it used manipulatively so often. So it came to me that ideas about gratitude can often be wrong.
Gratitude Is Not A Debt
Gratitude is not a debt. It is a way of being.
Frequently the word gratitude is used to extract something from someone else. It is often used in a mercenary way and that is an ungrateful act.
Gratitude is too often framed in economic terms as something you should feel for receiving any goodness. It is a way of thinking that treats the negative in the world as normal, and the good in the world as a favor.
However, that is not how gratitude really works from what I can see.
The big problem with the economic view of gratitude is that is assumes misery is natural and normal. It assumes that the good is acquired through struggle.
Suppose that is wrong?
A Different View Of Gratitude
A better kinder view of gratitude is to see the good in the world as something we all share and are entitled to. It does not really belong only to some people.
A better view is to see the good in all people because it is there in all of us.
A better view is to see our lives as an opportunity to contribute to the common good which we are a part of anyway.
A better way is to help others to see the good in themselves so that they do not feel isolated from the good in the world.
A better way is to preserve the common good and maintain the common good in the world as a matter of self-respect and respect for others.
A better way is a simple direct experience of the goodness in the world.
The Benefits Of Feeling Grateful
Thinking of the good in the world as natural, normal and there for all of us eliminates struggle, resentment, and the need to see anyone or anything as an enemy.
It helps us take what we need but not more since there is no one to impress or surpass.
When we see the good as natural then we can relax, give up our defenses, our fight against others.
It’s a relief and a chance worth taking.