Here’s a philosophical question for Thanksgiving weekend:
WHY should you be thankful?
Not what are you thankful for.
Or who should you be thankful to.
The hard-to-answer question is – WHY should you be thankful in the first place?
To put it another way: what is the point of gratitude?
After all, it’s very easy to be critical.
Especially when you have high expectations, something always goes wrong.
Sometimes, things suck. Sometimes it even feels like you’re surrounded by things to complain about, and there’s nothing good anywhere.
So why be thankful?
Well, first of all, it’s worth noting that every single religion I’m aware of, throughout history, has believed that being thankful for the positive things in your life is of crucial importance. Thor, Buddha *and* Jesus don’t necessarily agree on a lot of things, but they do agree on the importance of gratitude.
And there’s a practical, real-world benefit to gratitude. People who are grateful are a pleasure to be around. They encourage you and make you feel good about yourself. They make you want to be kind to them. They bring you up.
Grateful people bring you up.
On the other hand, ungrateful people are annoying. They take and give nothing in return. They bring you down and leave you feeling like you’ve been taken advantage of. When you help a ungrateful person, you feel worse at the end of the day, and that leaves you less likely to step up in the same way in the future.
Ungrateful people drag you down.
If you pay attention to the social dynamics around you, you will probably notice this dynamic at play. People who are grateful are fun to be around and people want to help them. People who are ungrateful are less pleasant and don’t get treated as well by others.
And as you start to notice that, you might start to notice how gratitude plays out in your own life, how it (slowly, even imperceptibly) changes the way that others treat you. How gratitude can even change the way you relate to yourself.
So, why should you be grateful? Because it’s crucially important. Because it benefits you. Because it creates a positive dynamic between you and the people around you. Because thousands of years of tradition hold that gratitude is of paramount importance.
This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful that I have an awesome email list full of people who are dedicated to self improvement and who give me the opportunity to get all deep and philosophical in my mailings.
I’m grateful for my awesome job and my awesome family.
I’m grateful that you all took the time to read this. And I hope what I wrote benefits you in some way.
Happy (American) Thanksgiving Everyone!
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Dating & Personal Development Coach,