This is a continuation of my “Action – Remorse – Gratitude – Praise” blog.
Gratitude is a very common word, but also a very much misused word. People might say, “I know what gratitude is,” and they might say, “When someone gives me something, and I say thank you for it, that’s gratitude, right?” I think this is the most common way of understanding gratitude.
But true gratitude is more than that; being grateful bestows blessings on people and the world.
“When someone gives you something, you have to say thank you” is what is usually taught to us by parents and teachers. But this creates a giver and a receiver, which plants in our subconsciousness the image that the giver is higher/above and the receiver is lower/below. One result of this is that someone who always receives and does not give may start to create excuses such as “I needed this” “I deserved this,” “I didn’t have a choice,” and so on. This person becomes a “taker” who thinks, “I have a valid reason for receiving things from people and the world,” and the person keeps taking energy from others, and becomes an energy-sucking vampire.
I don’t mean that you shouldn’t say thank you when you receive something. Actually, it’s better to say it. What I mean is that there needs to be a balance. If you have received something, then give or pass something along to someone else. That is healthier energy circulation than hoarding everything that’s been given to you, whether it’s a material object or a kind favour.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough” are the words of Aesop, an ancient Greek. Gratitude enriches people. And the roots of gratitude come to us from great existences like Tao, the Universal Spirit, and God or Buddha. If someone has gratitude, their future is blessed. Even when someone is receiving treatment, if the person has gratitude, healing will be better and will come faster; if the person doesn’t have gratitude, healing is slower.
Also, gratitude and remorse work together. Each human heart has a shadow side. Gratitude’s shadow side is complaints (dissatisfaction). Someone who doesn’t appreciate what they have or what they are given will always create excuses about it that appear as complaints and discontent. We need to see the complaining and dissatisfied heart in ourself and be remorseful about it, realizing that we have been given enough. This remorse purifies energy, and we feel gratitude naturally, and this gratitude warms the energy around us and the world.
This warmth comes from the Great Love of God and Buddha.
And when you feel this gratitude, you’ll feel true devotion. Devote yourself to people’s spiritual development and spread the feeling of Great Love. Devote yourself, not because someone told you to, but because you have a natural desire to do so. Do not devote yourself to someone or something, to objects or groups. Be devoted because you want to share the warmth of the gratitude you feel in your heart and want others to experience this feeling.
Let’s share gratitude and warmth with the world!