I am a Humanist, which, among other things means I view the world through a natural vs supernatural lens. Part of my practice as a Humanist is to actively be grateful to the people in my life that make living such a joy.
I realize my time here on earth is limited, and in the grand scope of the universe, my actions are insignificant and will only have a temporary effect at best. But that doesn’t deter me from being the best most ethical person I can be here and now.
Why? Because, even though my actions may not matter in the grand scheme of things after our planet has been reduced to its component elements when our sun explodes and dies, my actions most definitely matter here and now to the people I interact with. And yes, that is enough for me. My actions do matter to the people who are alive right now.
This is why being grateful is so important to me. It helps me to actively remember what is good in my life. It makes me feel vibrant and alive and connected whenever I think about how grateful I am to have people in my life I truly cherish and love and who matter to me. I can help make our collective lives easier or I can abandon my responsibilities to existential despair. Since I only have a limited time here, I’m not going to waste it worrying about my eventual death. I’m going to live life fully now.
Unfortunately, supernatural approaches to gratitude such as the law of attraction, can be that it will confer magical benefits. This assumes that gratitude is a means to attracting more stuff – but it isn’t. That diminishes the power of gratitude and diverts our attention from the real reason to practice it.
What do you see as the benefits of being thankful?
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3 thoughts on “The Power of Gratitude”
For me, gratitude is an exercise in focusing – focusing on positive things in my life. What benefit is this?
First, we all have negative events, situations happen to us, but to unduly focus on them can lead to depression and related issues. Focusing on the positive in a grateful manner puts one in a better frame of mind.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, is that gratitude opens the human personality to joy and generosity – making us better people.
I love that sentiment Gregory. And yes, I agree – great reasons for practicing gratitude.
For me, gratitude is a sensory experience and can happen at will or spontaneously. It grounds me and reminds me that I am fortunate to have the life that I do.