• TiredThinker
    430
    Lots of people say in our lives we should try to be grateful. But do we do it because we are in fact grateful, or we want to disguise any sense that we feel we earned something and paid the price for it? Does gratitude without a debtor make sense?

    Assuming there is no God should we feel grateful for life or this world we have come to know? And assuming there is a God do they require our gratitude if everything this all knowing being does they do with exacting purpose?

    Is gratitude really tentative humility?
  • 180 Proof
    8.7k
    Lots of people say in our lives we should try to be grateful. But do we do it because we are in fact grateful, or we want to disguise any sense that we feel we earned something and paid the price for it?TiredThinker
    I think few are the former, many are the latter and some are both.

    Does gratitude without a debtor make sense?
    Do you mean 'without a benefactor'?

    Assuming there is no God should we feel grateful for life or this world we have come to know?
    Yes.

    And assuming there is a God do they require our gratitude if everything this all knowing being does they do with exacting purpose?
    'Gratitude for being alive' is a(n existential) stance towards nature (or existing at all) and not an address to some invisible sky daddy. Besides, any entity expecting – feeling entitled to – gratitude, IMO, forfeits it.

    Is gratitude really tentative humility?
    No.
  • skyblack
    460
    Gratitude, it seems, is an attitude from/of fulfillment, of abundance, of surplus.

    The song of the nightingale, lion cubs playing with their mother while their father is basking under the sun, bears tumbling down the hill after a meal......the blooming of a flower.....the sprouting of a seed...

    Gratitude has nothing to do with your "idea" of God (whatever 'God' means). There is no need to make everything so petty.
  • skyblack
    460
    "What is it worth?"

    Good Lord! Its like asking the lover, "what is love worth"? The lover will probably ask, "have you ever been in love"?
  • Tom Storm
    4.3k
    Assuming there is no God should we feel grateful for life or this world we have come to know? And assuming there is a God do they require our gratitude if everything this all knowing being does they do with exacting purpose?TiredThinker

    I feel grateful for aspects of life but not life in general. Grateful for access to medicine, resources, electricity, health, not living in a war zone, etc.

    I would not accept that gratefulness is an appropriate word to describe how one should feel towards a creator god. From my perspective this must be a messed up deity with entitlement issues.
  • Varde
    304
    In the whim of grace- gratitude- for the many things to be grateful for, otherwise null response to life(being gave/being alive)?
  • universeness
    2.1k
    Is gratitude really tentative humility?TiredThinker

    I find words like 'birthright' or 'entitlement,' offensive when used by an aristocrat or a plutocrat/autocrat etc, regarding their social/economic/influential status. I find the same words 'essential' when people use them to refer to basics such as water, food, shelter, fair and equal treatment etc. To me, if you express gratitude when you don't really feel it then you either don't understand the concept and are just suffering from some lack of social education, (like a toddler who insists that all the toys in the box belong to them and they will fully control their access and use and if they want the toy you currently have then you must comply.) or you are deep down, basically, a nefarious b******.
    I feel the same way about personal demonstrations of the concept of 'humility.' Like gratitude, humility is a trait of a 'good person,' imo, if its demonstration is genuine.
    For me, it's a question of 'does your demonstrations of gratitude and humility stand up to scrutiny?'
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    I think gratitude is an extension of empathy or mirroring. I think we realize how much work it takes to make things go right for ourselves or others in life. When we see nice things happen to ourselves from things outside of our control, I believe its taking that sense about our self, and attributing that to whatever it was that had to work to make the reality you are experiencing.
  • TiredThinker
    430
    Putting God aside. Do we fear the direction our psyche might go in if we don't take stock in things of a positive nature that we receive that we didn't directly contribute to? Is it part of the expectation managing system more than anything?
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    From a Buddhist point of view...

    People will either give you sorrow or joy.

    If they give you joy, gratitude is in order for obvious reasons.

    If they give you sorrow, gratitude is in order still for you're given the golden opportunity to pay off your karmic debt i.e. pain is atonement for your sins, past and present.

    To get right to the point, always be thankful/grateful irrespective of how you feel, happy/sad.

    :snicker:
  • 180 Proof
    8.7k
    Like anger (à la Buddha), ingratitude is a double-edged sword.
  • unenlightened
    6.6k
    There is a not terribly old expression of uncertain origin: -- "To the privileged, equality can feel like oppression."
    Which one can turn around. To the oppressed, equality feels like a privilege.

    But life is complex, and everyone is to an extent privileged and to an extent oppressed. One might feel one's privilege and be grateful, or in the same circumstances, feel one's oppression and be resentful. It is more pleasant to feel grateful than resentful, I find.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    Like anger (à la Buddha), ingratitude is a double-edged sword.180 Proof

    :ok:
  • baker
    4.7k
    I once had a brief and unsettling exchange with a psychologist who researches gratitude. On his blog, I asked how to express gratitude when I feel thankful for things where I can't direct the thanks to any specific person, such as being grateful for good weather, that we didn't have a hailstorm, that plants grow at the expected rate, that a strange spot on my skin disappeared.

    He replied per email, and expressed his suspicion that I was merely trolling him. I tried to explain myself, to no avail. Apparently, scientifically, the only thing that matters about gratitude (and gratitude is a posh research field recently) is that it makes one feel good, and to hell with whoever provided the good stuff that one is grateful for.
  • baker
    4.7k
    Like anger (à la Buddha), ingratitude is a double-edged sword.180 Proof

    Not for the self-confident, self-assured.
  • baker
    4.7k
    Gratitude, it seems, is an attitude from/of fulfillment, of abundance, of surplus.skyblack

    Actually, it should come from a sense of lack, from a recognition of one's insufficiency and indebtedness.
  • Josh Alfred
    188
    What is gratitude? One of Newton's laws applied to social dynamics, "Every action has an equal or opposite reaction."
  • skyblack
    460
    Actually, it should come from a sense of lack, from a recognition of one's insufficiency and indebtedness.baker

    Really? Perhaps you will explain? I'm listening.
  • skyblack
    460


    To be clear there is no dispute in "the recognition of indebtedness". We are in agreement. My post you are responding to clearly acknowledges the point, and has also tried to use some metaphors to drive home the point. What you seem to be objecting is to my usage of the words "of fulfillment, of abundance, of surplus". You are instead saying it comes from "a sense of lack". So abundance vs lack is the issue? Go ahead.
  • TiredThinker
    430
    I wonder which gratitude is most important. If I were perpetually grateful I'd be exhausted and feel unworthy of everything and start to stop driving my life in any particular way.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    The 3 magic words:

    1. Please

    2. Sorry

    3. Thank you

    Don't thank me yet! — Grace (Terminator Salvation)

    :snicker:
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    If I were perpetually grateful I'd be exhausted and feel unworthy of everything and start to stop driving my life in any particular way.TiredThinker

    :sad: "We can't do it, it's impossible! That's why we must do it!" said the idiot!
  • baker
    4.7k
    I wonder which gratitude is most important. If I were perpetually grateful I'd be exhausted and feel unworthy of everything and start to stop driving my life in any particular way.TiredThinker

    Hence gratitude requires a metaphysical framework in order to be meaningful.
  • baker
    4.7k
    Gratitude, it seems, is an attitude from/of fulfillment, of abundance, of surplus.
    — skyblack

    Actually, it should come from a sense of lack, from a recognition of one's insufficiency and indebtedness.
    baker

    What you seem to be objecting is to my usage of the words "of fulfillment, of abundance, of surplus". You are instead saying it comes from "a sense of lack". So abundance vs lack is the issue? Go ahead.skyblack

    One cannot provide for oneself. The default is lack. One is left to the mercy of millions of other beings. Starting with plants which make breathable air. All the people who produce the food we eat, who make sure there is electricity in the power sockets so that we can plug in our devices, etc. etc. etc.

    If any person or other entity in this vast system of production and consumption doesn't do their job, we're left with a lack, we're left wanting. And we cannot make up for it on our own. Without plants, we have no air to breathe, and we can't make it ourselves. Without someone to process raw oil or make electricity, we can't drive our cars. And so on.

    Fulfillment, abundance, surplus imply that there is a baseline that is provided by default, that we can take for granted. I'm saying the baseline is zero, a dead universe which isn't conducive to life. Everything that is more than that is not a given. Hence this is where gratitude should be directed.
  • skyblack
    460


    Let me ask you, you are speaking from your own understandings, right? You have understood gratitude? You speak of gratitude because you understand it and live it in your everyday life and living?

    Along the lines, you have also understood lack? The nature of it? How it arises in a person? What are its effects. How we respond to a perception of lack etc? The entire movement of lack? You have reflected and processed all these?
  • baker
    4.7k
    Not sure what you're asking.

    It seems that for most people, their intuitive response to an experience of lack is not gratitude, but sadness, contempt, or anger.
  • skyblack
    460
    Not sure what you're asking.baker

    These are straightforward questions.

    Let me ask you, you are speaking from your own understandings, right? You have understood gratitude? You speak of gratitude because you understand it and live it in your everyday life and living?

    Along the lines, you have also understood lack? The nature of it? How it arises in a person? What are its effects. How we respond to a perception of lack etc? The entire movement of lack? You have reflected and processed all these?
    skyblack

    Are you having problems reading them or understanding them?
  • baker
    4.7k
    It seems you have an underlying assumption here, but it's not clear what it is.
    It seems you're after a universally applicable explanation of gratitude that will hold for every person, regardless of said person's specifics.
  • Nils Loc
    1.1k
    Gratitude is likely associated with desired brain states (a feeling of satisfaction/peace/love). If love were an island, folks living on it would be bonded in mutual trust through acts of authentic gratitude. One would be more often genuinely grateful and show it in reciprocity with another.

    The self-help psychologists say you can fake gratitude until you make gratitude, exercise the circuits, like the Buddhists might exercise loving kindness (Metta) toward establishing a good social habit.

    Just never show gratitude toward your boss, or he'll likely pile on the workload. There is no room for gratitude in master/slave relationships, unless of course you enjoy your work and can picture yourself as a free man instead of a precariat slave in our Capitalist utopia.
  • skyblack
    460


    You came and disputed what i had said. I am asking you to explain your dispute. I am asking, you are speaking on these subjects because you have thought about them? Reflected? Processed? You practice it in your everyday living? You are qualified to speak on these things? So the questions are:

    Let me ask you, you are speaking from your own understandings, right? You have understood gratitude? You speak of gratitude because you understand it and live it in your everyday life and living?

    Along the lines, you have also understood lack? The nature of it? How it arises in a person? What are its effects. How we respond to a perception of lack etc? The entire movement of lack? You have reflected and processed all these?
    skyblack
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