TED Conversations

Arkady Grudzinsky


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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 26 2012: I do feel gratitude is a component of my life, but I would prefer to describe my personal existence somewhat differently. For me life is simply precious beyond all measure because of pure biological fortune.

    Here's why. The conception that made me possible (or anyone else for that matter) seems to be a single happenstance. In other words a single egg and a single sperm from the mind boggling numbers produced by one's parents which enabled this unique existence of my being. And this phenomena applies to the circumstances which begot my parents and their parents, etc., without whom there is nothing.

    Perhaps all the more reason I try to live life well by seeking the true riches this precious existence enables.

    I appreciate life and feel grateful for my fortune, but I do complain once in a while! It is understandable why religion attracts so many regarding the meaning of existence, but it disolved away for me to the natural wonders of the real world.

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