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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    Dec 9 2012: Being grateful to God for life on earth is an interesting notion that is all tied up with your definition of God. Is god is a male figure that manipulates daily events on this little planet or is god the force that triggered the big bang? Being grateful to the former for life is akin to a child being grateful to Santa for the Christmas presents. Being grateful to the latter recognizes that god permeates everything and for me, results in ubiquitous gratitude.

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