“An Ungrateful Heart discovers no mercies, but a Grateful Heart will find and discover, in every hern and cranny, in every nook and corner, some heavenly blessings and bliss.”
By Bushra Salahuddin
Gratitude- a transcendental feeling has socially and historically been a focal point of several world religions. A point of discussion, a trigger for compassion and empathy towards every good and not so good, towards our very own surroundings. It is a very casual and common yet an important topic, since ages, to the ancient, medieval and the modern times, people and history. It also continues to interest the contemporary philosophers of the Postmodern times as well.
Gratitude- It is a Universal yet blissful feeling of being grateful, of appreciating, of pleasing, of welcoming and of being Thankful for everything good that we get and everything bad that makes a whole new, changed person that we eventually become in life.
Many a times when people help us and we end up having an indebted behaviour towards them is when we actually realize the goodness of this turning beautiful planet-Earth, the people residing here and their valuable traits of humanity and the universal mankind. However we also realise this that Gratitude is not the same as the feeling of indebtedness is. It is also that while both the feelings occur following help in times of need, indebtedness is an emotion that occurs when we, as a person perceive that we are under an obligation or a moral and ethical duty to make some repayment of compensation for the help and for the aid that was provided in whichever way to us, in the time of need. The emotions lead to different feelings and actions following them; indebtedness can motivate us as the recipient of the aid given to us in the situation of crisis. Whereas gratitude is one gem of an emotion that can motivate us, being the recipient to be kind to them and to seek out their benefactor and to create a bond of friendship and most importantly humanity that we all have in our life.
Gratitude or being grateful serves a lot of purposes in life from making us a better person inside and out to getting to resolve many of the problems in life. The strong yet emotional feeling of gratitude may also serve to reinforce future prosocial and cultural behaviour in benefactors, to our own benefit.
In the stages of journey called “Life”, there is a whole variety of different things that can conjure the positive feelings of appreciation or gratitude, of happiness and health and of thankfulness and blessings that guides us towards meaning and better health, thereby making a strong impression of our overall personality as an enlightened and aware individual.
Perspectives on Gratitude- for a Happier Living, From Ancient to the Modern Times.
Ever since the ancient times, the ancient philosophers like Cicero and Seneca have preached the moral and ethical values of behaviour, of thought and of gratitude as a key virtue foundational in order for the society in those times to progress and to eventually lead to any successful civilization. To be clear, it is not just ancient and historical philosophers and thinkers who advocated for it, rather there are people, thinkers, philosophers and even the altruistic and philanthropic minds who, even till date, think towards these hard core topics of relevance, who are not that lingered on to the “cruel realities” of life and actions following up, rather they hold a sense of taking society to further progress and not towards fragmentation.
Other than the realms of time, there are religious and spiritual movements that have explored the virtue of gratitude, for all times in reckoning, and that the value of truth and justice and most importantly gratitude is a very important requisite for a happier life. It is gratitude that is the need of the times in order to attain a higher power and eventually a happier life.
Gratitude is also a powerful virtue and important tool for strengthening interpersonal relationships and workplace interactions. People who express their gratitude for each other tend to be more willing to forgive and appreciate each other. Gratitude validates the raison d’etre, our purpose for living. We feel grateful, and in the acknowledgement is a sense of fulfillment abundance – it eases our “wanting” minds and we can “pay it forward” by being kind and generous in our actions, creating more gratitude and ultimately more happiness, hence, preventing turmoil.