TED Conversations

Arkady Grudzinsky

TEDCRED 50+

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Should we feel gratitude for our life? To whom?

Gratitude is important feeling in interpersonal relationships. Gratitude encourages giving and giving encourages more gratitude, etc. On the other side, lack of gratitude comes with a sense of "entitlement" - they mutually create each other as well. Lack of gratitude discourages giving and creates a sense that the world "owes us" a living. "We are programmed to receive." Gratitude, in my opinion, offers an exit from that proverbial Hotel California and "programs us to give".

How about our life and other things shown in this video? Religious people usually thank God for these things. The camera shows a standing round of applause at the end of the video. I very much doubt that most people attending TED talks are religious, so the video must have stirred some emotion in believers and non-believers alike.

Do non-believers feel gratitude for these things? If yes, to whom?

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    Nov 23 2012: I'm grateful for every good thing I've been given, and the love I've recieved, and the good health that I enjoy.
    I'm grateful for the beautiful things of life, and the lovely people in the world (family, friends,neighbours,strangers).
    I'm grateful to storytellers (writers and filmmakers)
    I'm grateful to God, who is more real to me than this piece of technology I'm typing on; and I'm grateful to members of the TED community.

    I'm sure that non-believers feel gratitude; but only for the things they believe in.
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        Nov 23 2012: The fact that someone does not believe in God doesn't mean he or she doesn't believe in technology, the pet dog or CNN.
        As long as you are alive you gotta believe in something.
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        Nov 23 2012: The fact that someone does not believe in God doesn't mean he or she doesn't believe in technology, the pet dog or CNN.
        As long as you are alive you gotta believe in something.
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        Nov 24 2012: Mike, what you write is very true. It does not make sense to believe in any "thing" in this world for the very reason that you described. By the way, religion discourages or prohibits such beliefs as well, calling them "idolatry".

        Don't you believe in "change" then?

        By the way, you poem hits me very close to home. 2 days before Thanksgiving, the fence on my front yard fell after rains and wind. Rotten posts. Why did you choose this particular metaphor? Occurrences like this may be a pure coincidence, but they feel like "something" is trying to speak to me. E.g., I may consider an important decision, and then some remark from a total stranger suddenly makes this decision crystal clear. It's just my perception, though. We don't need to read too much into it.

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