Gratitude has something to offer, even to those who may not want to hear it.
While I was putting together a recent “Gratitude Watch,” I ran across a well-crafted piece that spoke about the value of gratitude, but I didn’t include it because it missed what I think is a very important point.
The piece was “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D on the Psychology Today blog page.
I have friends who have lost just about everything in the Madoff scandal, friends that are facing job loss at the worst possible times, and friends with big time health challenges. The rest of us, those of us without (at least right now, life-threatening illnesses or economic ruin) should be filled with the most powerful feelings of gratitude for the luck of the draw at this moment in time. [Emphasis mine.]
I feel Dr. Schwartz missed an opportunity here.
Let’s think about this.
It is certainly understandable that individuals who have lost jobs, big chunks of their retirements, or any meaningful equity in their homes while their mortgage payments were jacked up astronomically would not be feeling particularly grateful at this moment. Or, for that matter, would a recipient of any of a number of other significant life events that can and do derail our lives, current crisis notwithstanding.
It is implicit in her statement that there are individuals, because of their situation, have a right to feel thoroughly ungrateful.
Sorry, doctor, but what part of “grateful” don’t you understand?