Gratitude Over The Ages

  • In 56 CE, the Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote a comprehensive book on gratitude, called On Benefits.
  • The gifted philosopher treats the feeling of gratitude as a virtue that one needs to cultivate and implement socially.
  • In his book, gratitude is defined as a glue that holds society together and makes it thrive.
  • More than just acting out and reciprocating the benefits received, it is crucial to actually feel the gratitude from within.
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  • A gift has certain psychological aspects attached to it, making it more than just a simple transaction.
  • A gift binds the recipient to the giver, and is seen as a burden. The word ‘grateful’ can also be translated in the Hebrew language to ‘A prisoner of thankfulness’.
  • A gift can also have a flavour of humiliation, like when a captive person or a hostage is provided with a cup of tea.
Gratitude: Personal And Interpersonal
  • The year gone by has made practising gratitude popular, promoting it as an instrument to enhance one’s personal wellbeing.
  • Gratitude is a complex and interpersonal emotion that feels incomplete by itself and has to have an addressee, a specific person other than oneself.
  • Being thankful for your own health, luck, good looks is a positive and beneficial action but is a feeling that can be described as appreciation and is generally personal.

Positive psychologists have credited gratitude (both personal and interpersonal) with:

  1. Improving our emotional wellbeing.
  2. Promoting prosocial behaviour.
  3. Helping us regulate our emotions.
  4. Relieving symptoms of asthma.

The 18th-century American preacher Jonathan Edwards defined gratitude as a natural affection felt toward another person who has benefited us.

Gratitude is generally interpersonal and can induce positive feelings even toward our foes.

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Being Grateful For Your Job
  • In the 2020 debacle in terms of job and income loss, people who are employed feel a certain pressure to be grateful for it, and even have a measure of real gratitude. Many are thankful that they are still hired, still getting paid every month.
  • Jobs provided post-pandemic seem prized, with candidates in awe of the fact that they are being considered, shortlisted and interviewed, when jobs are so scarce.
  • While being grateful for what we have is a positive emotion with real benefits, there is a downside to this gratefulness, as it makes a person willing to endure unwelcome situations at work.

Should you be grateful for a job?

bbc.com

Being thankful and showing it to the others will enable you to live a happier life while making sure the ones around you feel happy as well. Gratitude is a sure key to becoming aware of how beautiful life can be, when lived properly.

Learning to Consider Gratitude a Discipline

becomingminimalist.com

Aristotle argued that we become what we habitually do. If we spend our days thinking of everything that has gone poorly and how dark our future appears, we can think ourselves into misery.

While we should pay attention to the many injustices to be righted, we can also make the world a better place by being aware of the good things it already affords. We can change ourselves into the kind of people who seek out and celebrate things we can be thankful for.

How to make gratitude a way of life

fastcompany.com

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