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February 25, 2011



How sad would it be to not be able to find a good point of each and every day, even if it is just a decent sandwich at lunch?
And how does a child learn to appreciate things and develop their likes and interests if we do not push them to think about whether they infact did appreciate whatever you did for them or gave them?

I'm afraid this is what is wrong with so many people these days, going through life with the 'poor me' blinkers on. How many times have we come home from work and announced our day was 'crap'? And if explored, is it possible that one thing went wrong which we then allowed to set the tone for the rest of the day when in fact it might not have been that bad?

Not that I condone lying or falseness either, just live your life with your eyes and heart open and free of the persecutive attitude.

kim parkinson

if there were an urban etiquette, then the larging it focus on gratitude in times of uninhabited care for small mercies might be less


I am absolutely in favour of authenticity, but I don't subscribe to the sweeping generalisation in what you have written here. Is it not possible to adopt the habit of looking at those things in your life for which you can be grateful (this gratitude does then come from within - it is not enforced by a judgmental authority figure, which appears to be what you are alluding to in this article) and at the same time use this to help you to change the things in your life which don't fulfil you or bring you joy in the same way?? I, for one, am always looking at ways that I can improve and learn. That said, I also appreciate that modern life does not always afford us the time to stop and take a look at what is good in our lives and that is why I make a habit of thinking of those things for which I am thankful every day. Your article seemed to me to assume that the act of keeping a gratitude diary is an enforced thing... this is not the intention behind it. Now, I don't keep one - keeping a journal is not my thing, but I do build time into my day to look at the things for which I am grateful. It is a way of maintaining focus. "Where focus goes, energy flows" and all that... We can all focus on the bad in life. Turn on the TV, listen to the radio or pick up a newspaper every day and you can see, hear or read about all that is wrong with the world. What a skewed view of life we would have if we never stopped to look at what was good. Can you imagine how life would be different if, instead of focussing on the bad stuff (which is only news after all because it's uncommon, but we forget that..) newspapers and TV channels routinely presented a real view of life. Yes, there are some bits which need to change. There are some bits which are downright awful. There are some bits which are irksome and frustrating. BUT there are also some wonderful things. Great experiences to be had every day. Amazing people to meet. Glorious landscapes and architecture. Beautiful sunsets. The list goes on. I, for one, believe it to be far more empowering to not paper over the cracks - as Tony Robbins once said "It's not about going out into the garden and saying 'There are no weeds, there are no weeds'. That's bullshit. See it as it is. Not worse than it is." I believe in taking stock and making changes where needed. But taking stock means good and bad. I can work on the things which need work and I am grateful for the good. How about you?

Shell Tobin

You make a good point Mark and Fay Weldon said many very wise things. I think the everyday politeness of saying thank you to a person who serves you in a shop, for example, is a worthwhile thing. It makes the environment just generally more pleasant. It's never wise to say sorry when you're not though. I try not to instill a habit of saying thank you in my children. It's preferable that they feel confident enough in their relationship with me and in their home environment to express how they truly feel. A culture of authenticity in intimate surroundings is important in a world where falseness is rife.

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