There are many things that make us human. Compassion, grace, love. The ability to forgive. Another I hadn’t really given much thought to, until I read this article, is gratitude. As the author says, Thanksgiving in America lends itself to taking stock of the good in our lives. Other countries and cultures reflect at different times of the year – whether that’s Christmas or New Year. The point is, ultimately gratitude is a powerful force for good. It’s how friendships are maintained and love blossoms, because gratitude is an act of selflessness. It’s an emotion we then feel compelled to pay forward and society at large benefits.
I was struck by the simplicity of this notion, but also the complexity of how gratitude, or a lack thereof, is reflected in modern society. We live in a screen age where everyone is constantly on the go. Gratitude is often an after-thought, if a thought at all. For a lot of people, the stronger emotion is a sense of entitlement. That someone else must help them because they’re so busy. Others see good deeds imparted on them as a burden, favors they are now obligated to pay back.
But if we all just took a moment to slow down and recognize what we’re grateful for and who we’re grateful too, we can understand that being grateful is integral to the fabric of our society. It keeps us in tune with each other. It makes us better people and the world a kinder place.