On Gratitude

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Clearly, the glory days for gratitude are here. It’s having its moment in the sun.

Every popular psych or self-improvement piece seems to mention it. Apparently it’s the quick fix to happiness.

Gratitude however, much as the miracle cure it is made out to be hasn’t really worked for me.

In fact, often gratitude makes me feel worse. It puts way too much pressure on you to be happy and be thankful. Sure, it makes you look at the positives and how good your life is. There is always something to be grateful for, right? Sure. But you still don’t feel grateful. In fact, you begin to feel worse about not feeling good in spite of everything that’s going your way.

Gratitude makes you feel like an ass.

Sometimes, it can also make you go into a spiralling state of momentary depression and questioning.

I love eating out. So some days when I remember, when I’m mindful and count my blessings that I have a juicy burger staring me in the face, it also occurs to me that under privileged kids the world over would kill for that. That awareness, that someone doesn’t have a meal, bites a chunk out of your happiness quotient (which is the point of gratitude). The world is cruel and unfair. But you also know that you don’t care enough to do anything about it and once that fleeting thought bids goodbye, you will go back to the same old cycle. The kids will still starve and you will still have your bacon.

And that makes you feel like an insensitive jerk.

Of course chances are, I’m looking at it all wrong. Perhaps the gratitude habit could do with a little bit of tweaking. Let’s see what Google digs up. All help is appreciated.

Image credit: Sodahead.com

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2 thoughts on “On Gratitude

  1. I once heard the phrase, “Comparison is a short cut to misery”. It was in the context of wanting something someone else had, be it a Porsche, latest gadget, career, personality… It also works the other way. comparing your easy access to good food with someone who regularly goes without is a bad road to start along. I get really pee’d off when I hear the phrase “count your blessings” from someone else, but I give myself permission to count them for myself. And that’s my point. Myself. I believe that gratitude is a personal thing, subjective and not to be forced upon anyone. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great habit to get into, but it doesn’t have to be all the time.

    You are right, sometimes the world sucks. But not everywhere and not all the time. Enjoy the burger. It is yours. You’ve paid for it. You’ve earned that cash (I’m assuming). Sh*t will still happen. Stop what you will and can, but take it from a past master, don’t become a martyr.

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