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? Will any mother will have it after death of her son? Will any businessman will have after going bankrupt? There are numerous such situations when we can't expect people to have gratitude.

    When good things happen the ones who believe in God, are grateful to God. But what about an atheist? He will be happy within himself.

    When things go bad the atheist will blame situations, surrounding, people or any other possible thing. God believers will pray or will go at holy places.

    For me gratitude is being thankful to whatever good happened. And you should be grateful to those who made good things happen for you, no matter, if its God or human.

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