Gratitude encourages people to repay debts. The more gratitude people feel toward those who have helped them, the more diligently they will work to return the favour.
When you want to repay someone you have to forgo your own immediate needs in service of someone else. This action boils down to self-control.
For instance, when you are grateful that a friend helped you to move to a new apartment, you are more likely to return the favor, even if you have to forgo something you looked forward to.
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How do we become virtuous?
Virtue comes from living an examined life - one where deep deliberation leads to holding on to noble qualities such as honesty and generosity, regardless of how difficult it can be to do them.
While one can take the time to pursue virtue deliberately, Cicero states that by cultivating gratitude, other virtues will grow.
In a study published in Psychological Science, participants were presented with temptation. Those who recalled a time when they felt grateful were more likely to act in an honest manner than those who described a time when they felt happy or neutral.
People who feel grateful are more likely to help others, divide their profits and be loyal even at a cost to themselves.
A simple, frugal living in nature might be our last hope to reverse the effects of industrialization, population growth, polluted oceans, deforestation, plastic waste and extinction of plants and animals.
The stories in pop culture in the last century tend to be moralistic and have a clear demarcation of good and bad.
These stories have virtually the same structure of good guys fighting with the bad guys for the sanctimonious fate of society.