Kindred asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 2 months ago

Your philosophy on gratitude?

Some people have difficulty saying thank you or expressing appreciation.  On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who say thank you for the littlest things. Where do you stand and why or why not do you find gratitude important.  


Just adding, that It seems like gratitude feeds into Aristotle’s good life or Eudaimonia because it results in shared joy, a harmony of sorts, and I’ve recently realized it’s seen as a mark of character in circles roughly related the ethics.  


The neuroscience around it ties it to positive hormone production.  Interesting how it interrelates.  

6 Answers

  • j153e
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    As you write, Aristotle's eudaimonia is both a graciousness of shared joy and a harmony of life.  Would add G. K. Chesterton's wisdom:  that gratitude for the littler thing is connected to gratitude for many more things.  Chesterton used the analogy of thanking someone for passing a condiment (such as mustard) at the dinner table; Godly existential awareness of the production and distribution process, for one's own ability to provide the condiment by earning a livelihood, and for one's home, and for God's creation.  This is a meaning of saying Grace as part of the living Word, especially of the early Christians, of any group of genuinely caring people, and of what the (genuine ;-) philosopher Jacques Maritain developed as he moved from scientism to Christian existential awareness--the meaning of Chesterton's "mustard" Grace, Immanuel, "God with us."

    Maritain and his Jewish wife, Raissa, whom he met as both were studying at the Sorbonne, moved beyond scientism in part via attending Henri Bergson's lectures.  Ironically, Raissa became a devotee of Saint Thomas Aquinas, and introduced Jacques to him.  Thereafter Jacques' Christian awareness of the Immanence of God in daily existence deepened even more, being an example of Kierkegaard's Knight of Faith.  Thus their re-solution of the reductive egoisms of materialism or scientism, logical positivism, brittle intellectualism, and of egoism as romanticism or self-elevation of the human condition.  Imo, the two base movements of Godlessness--materialism as what Gautama Buddha noted as "this material mindedness, this materialism"--rationalism as scientism/reductive positivism, and empiricism as emo existential despair (e.g., as belittling, lashing out at others, infantile leftism, reactionary greed, etc.)--are resolved by a turn toward God, Good, inner Child, which is always, when genuine, a dialogue of I-Thou, of Man and God, of lovingkindness, e.g. as Elijjah, even as the leap of faith of Kierkegaard.

    It is also interesting that carnal mindedness raises positive endorphins, as does humanism, and as does Godliness.  The upward orientation of Godliness asks, per Gautama Buddha, a reallocation of positive endorphins more towards Plotinus' One Mind Soul-realization. 

  • GA41
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

     I strive to follow the will of God in this area.--->"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  

  • Marli
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Petter, if a person has done you a good action or has made or bought a gift for you, it is crass not to acknowledge that person's effort and thoughtfulness.  If you thank the person with a hug instead of words, it is still a "thank you."  Would you not want your friend to feel happy? Would you not feel pleasure to see you made him happy? Then  why would you withhold that mutual pleasure?

    That is my philosophy on gratitude. It pleases me to give thanks and it pleases the person who has given me the reason to thank him or her,  and that increases my pleasure. 

    It pleases me to receive thanks too. I want my efforts acknowledged. Everyone wants their efforts acknowledged. A thanked worker is a pleased person and will be a more zealous worker. That is why it is crass to refuse to thank the person who did something for you. 

    Besides that, I do not want to be the cause of a refusal of assistance to someone else who needs it. 

    I am pleased when I am grateful.  I am miserable and depressed when I am not.  When I can watch a baby being a baby, I am grateful to God for babies and to the baby's parents for tolerating my pleasure. Babies give me pleasure because they are so interesting to watch and I don't have to change their diapers. Plus I was once a baby. What changes have happened!  Watching birds or animals move are interesting too, and plants are beautiful - even the weeds.  I can't help feeling grateful that they give me pleasure and that I still have the senses and mental abilities to appreciate them.

  • RP
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If sincere, I don't think there can be too much or inappropriate gratitude. IMHO, it begins with the self and involves realizing what there is (I have) to be grateful for or my good fortune, although that's always relative. I think of it as recognizing the good. When I thank someone for something others may feel is slight or doesn't matter much, I do it because little things do mean a lot. Any act of kindness or acknowledgement lifts me, even as I am generally optimistic and positive. I hope I can do no less for and to others.

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  • Petter
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    My philosophy is that anything goes. Just because you don't say thank you, doesn't necessarily mean you are NOT thankful.

    There are plenty of other ways of showing appriciation. Like a big smile, a hug, body language, etc and I'm not giving things away anyhow to get thanks or to hear a "thank you", so I really don't care...

    People usually don't ask for gifts, so I don't see how you would expect a thank you? It was my choice to give it away. I expect nothing, but hope for some happiness at the recipient.

  • Dze
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    i think it represents one thing .. 'pride' .. pride is an ugly destructive force in any social situation ..

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