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 23 2012: Gratitude is for the rich, I doubt if you were born in a wartorn country or a family that got killed by the army you'd feel 'gratitude' towards god or the universe/etc.

    I would venture to say that most who feel gratitude is doing so from a safe/luxurious position in history.
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      Dec 23 2012: Not necessarily. I agree with Prakar Jeevan below that gratitude is a character, not a feeling. Everybody has things to complain about. Of two people in the same situation, one may feel victimized, the other one may feel blessed.
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        Dec 23 2012: I believe gratitude is a feeling, an attitude, a characteristic, personality trait, and a choice with each and every one of us in any given moment. I am not wealthy financially. I AM however, rich with gratitude. I have faced challenges in the life adventure, which continue to contribute to the feeling of gratitute I have in my heart. Sometimes directed toward someone special for his/her contribution to my feeling of gratitude....sometimes simply something I feel in myself. It has a LOT to do with our perception of the world, the life adventure, and those who contribute to our life experience. Mostly, it is a choice we make for ourselves in each moment.....or not:>)

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