Monday, June 25, 2012

#176 / The Gratitude Movement

A week ago Sunday, standing in line for takeout at my favorite Thai restaurant, I got to talking about "gratitude" with another takeout patron. We both agreed that you either "sweeten up," or "get sour," as you age, and we both preferred "gratitude" (and "sweetening up") as the correct response to the adversities and encouragements we find in life.

When I opened up the San Francisco Chronicle the very next morning, on Monday, June 18th, I found that we were part of a "gratitude movement" that I didn't even know existed. Click the image to read the story.

I did find one aspect of the story to be somewhat discouraging. A lot of attention was paid to what might be called the operational and individual "benefits" of gratitude. Better physical health, emotional and psychic stability, and a "bit of a competitive edge" were all cited.

Deciding how to conduct one's life based on how to maximize one's individual "benefit" is not exactly what I'd prescribe as my lesson for living well. This is the same approach that suggests that we shouldn't kill other species because maybe one of them will lead us to a cure for cancer.

Sometimes, you just do things because they are "right," benefits to oneself aside.

Being grateful for being alive seems to me to be one of those things.

Not driving other species into extinction seems like another such item. Good in itself, not just good for me!

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