Gratitude or ingratitude (I)

Gratitude is being appreciative of the benefits we have received and if we sit down to really think we will see we have every reason to be grateful. Gratitude should be a daily affair and as we wind up this year we must see the need to be grateful.

“Are you a grateful person? Thankful for the good things, big and small, in your life? In the hustle of to-do lists and work deadlines, sometimes it’s (too) easy to block out the details of the day, forgetting that each and every day holds precious gifts. From the air we breathe to the friendships we hold close, there is always something to be thankful for.” Lydia Sweatt

Unfortunately in life there seems to be more ungrateful than grateful people. More people tend to complain of what is not happening than look and be grateful for what has happened or is happening. Ingratitude is usually the result of wrong perspective or a misreading of what is happening. Ingratitude is seeing the glass half empty rather than half full. The situation is the same- same glass, same quantity of water and the same empty space but the perspective is different.

Seeing the glass as half empty focuses on what is missing while seeing the glass as half full focuses on what has happened. The man who sees the half empty glass sees a problem but the man who sees the glass half full will see possibilities.

When we give undue focus to what is empty or not happening in our lives we will tend to be ungrateful.

Ingratitude genders negativity and gratitude stirs up optimism.

Gratitude and ingratitude have the same basic components and are expressed through the same channels. Gratitude is an acknowledgment of what we have received or the benefit conferred on us . We cannot be grateful for what we don’t know. Gratitude starts with a mental note of what has been done and acknowledging it. The act or the words must be recognized before gratitude can be expressed. However being aware of what has been done or the benefit  conferred alone does not constitute gratitude.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward

“Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone who has done a lot for you.” G. B. Stern

The second channel through which we express gratitude is words. We say “thank you”. We shout. We sing. We eulogize the giver of the benefit etc.

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” Henri Frederic Amiel

The third channel of expression is actions. We dance, we jump for joy, we “ give hi- five”, we give gifts  etc.



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