Grateful for what exactly?

A STUDY found that cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” makes people less aggressive when provoked, and provided better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression and kinder behaviour towards others.

“If you want to sleep more soundly, count blessings, not sheep,” University of California researcher Dr. Robert A. Emmons concluded.

Being grateful does not being in a state of denial about this messed-up world. There is plenty in all our lives to be grouchy about. Gratitude does not dispel the mystery of suffering and evil in the world and may even deepen our sense of it. But gratitude makes it possible for us to know that, in spite of everything, God is in control. And that shapes our emotions, thoughts and actions.

Of course, gratitude only works when we have something authentic to be grateful for.

One of the great truths is life and love are gifts. The opposite of gratitude is to take these gifts for granted.

Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast said gratitude was more than a feeling. It was an attitude we could freely choose: “Love wholeheartedly, be surprised, give thanks and praise. Then you will discover the fullness of your life,’’ he said

Bernie Siegel is a US doctor who decided a few years ago to seriously study the effects gratitude had on his patients. In the course of that investigation, he said. he evolved from being an anal-rentetive doctor, shaved his head, changed his name from “Dr. Siegel” to Bernie, and actually started caring more for his patients.

‘If your gratitude depends on what life gives you or what other people do for you or to you, you will be disappointed more often than you are grateful,” he wrote. “But you can learn to feel grateful by rethinking your attitude towards life. First, remember that contentment lies in giving. If you know that giving is better than receiving, then you can feel grateful for what you are able to give others. This does not mean you ignore your own needs. You will you will be grateful for having had the chance to give in your own way. Remember, we all have something to give, and our ability to give is not related to our finances or physical strength.”

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.


7 thoughts on “Grateful for what exactly?

  1. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; IF THERE BE ANY VIRTUE, AND IF THERE BE A NY PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS.


    • I’m told glue-sniffing has the same effect. 🙂
      But it’s all subjective. One man’s half-full life is another man’s half-empty life.


  2. ….and an afterthought:-
    If:- ” But gratitude makes it possible for us to know that, in spite of everything, God is in control.”,
    ……how does that effect our gratitude for not having Free Will?
    (….or should that be ‘our gratitude for NOT having Free Will’ ?)


  3. “First, remember that contentment lies in giving. If you know that giving is better than receiving, then you can feel grateful for what you are able to give others.”

    This is very true. When people talk about the ingredients of happiness, I think this is a key one.


  4. It’s quite possible to be grateful for your life and love and family without being grateful to some concept in the sky. Just a feeling of gratitude for what you have, of gladness that you exist, gladness that because you won’t ever know you are dead,then as far as you are concerned you will always be alive.
    What a wonderful concept, and what’s more, a realistic one, supported by all the science.

    Why be worried about impossible and illogical sales pitches. with absolutely no evidence, that you have to accept before they can worry you in the first place?

    I think the killer for religion for me was the sheer amount of lying that has gone into all of its key “supernatural” tenets, that pervades its holy books and that emanates from its pulpits, together with the cruelty and brutality that is always its hallmark when religion tries to reign supreme in any country. When lies are peddled as truth, and FAITH (claiming to know what you don’t know and can’t know) is upheld as a virtue, then how can you ever have a proper grip on reality?

    The only difference between a belief held by a single lunatic and a religious belief is that with religion billions have been coerced to believe it.
    It says more about the haphazard way our brains have been cobbled together by evolution than anything else. It says that maybe most people have not developed the antivirus “mind-ware” programs of logic and critical thinking before their minds have become corrupted by the anti-logic of religion.

    For those who cannot see religion as a “virus of the mind”, a brief study of the topic reveals parallels on every level that are striking in their similarities to a computer virus. And as the mind functions of the human brain are essentially computer functions that even use electrical currents and a binary switching code, the analogy and likelihood is a sound one. If you can theoretically have a computer virus of the mind, then religion must be a good.example of one.

    I can see nothing that would nullify that claim. Can you?


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