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Growing Our Gratitude


Our dissatisfaction is both the symptom and the cause of our unhappiness. We are rarely satisfied with what we have, what we are or what we do. The insatiable search for gains and honors leads us to constantly desire an idealized elsewhere. This inability was forged in our earliest childhood: we grew up in an era where the temporal takes precedence over the spiritual. As strange as it may seem, believing in the hereafter makes the present life more acceptable: our life, however difficult it may be, becomes the price to pay to reach a more serene place. Materiality is supposed to express our inner world in the best possible way, there is a kind of confusion. Faced with the paradox of an exteriority out of step with our inner world, a malaise occurs and we are finally no longer able to appreciate what we have or what we do because it contrasts with what we are in our inner self.

We become an inverted iceberg: the majority of our identity is deployed largely in the field of the visible so that we have not sufficiently delved into the depths of our being. The inability to express any form of gratitude is therefore rooted in this constant flight forward: we project ourselves onto the world as if to escape ourselves.

Setbacks and other failures force us to recognize the good fortune we have enjoyed up to now. These pauses that we take for calamities are more often than not revealed as blessings sown by providence to make the seed of our gratitude bloom. Forgetting the good graces that have filled our path is perhaps what characterizes us the most. We take things for granted and desire others without seeing that these achievements are in reality only debts that we discharge with a form of thanks or at least an observation that these blessings are precious.

In order to increase our gratitude, we must get rid of the idea that we deserve anything, that we are special, or superior to others. The qualities we enjoy, even if they are the result of our work, should be admired and treated as divine gifts. We have free will, but there is something greater that we cannot control. Finally, to express gratitude is to contemplate our surplus rather than to lament all that we believe we lack.

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