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 10 2012: There are other words than Gratefulness, Mindfulness, Contemplation and Appreciation can work. I appreciate that I am alive, I appreciate that evolution has brought humans to awareness we exist, that life in and of itself is quite wondrous. Meditation develops the region of the brain I mentioned in an earlier post. Awareness brings intelligence and sharing and compassion. Organic life avoids pain and seeks pleasure.
    Personally I have experienced pain in my life, I did not like it one bit and I know of no one who likes it so I am compassionate. If I were NOT alive I would not have experienced anything. So to me life is special.

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