The Science of Gratitude
While gratitude’s direct relationship to fulfillment and happiness has been accepted for thousands of years in the East, as well as in Christianity, its role in the modern capitalist Western culture has only recently started to approach serious mainstream consideration. And while it’s true that for most traditions, the notion of being totally filled with the present moment through gratitude was the highest experience of life — for their Western counterparts it has been something quite different.
Whether it is the ceremonial reminder of Thanksgiving or Christmas, or the odd inspirational quote on social media here and there, gratitude for the West was useful, yes, but more like a “life hack” that could be done every now and then for little burst of optimism rather than the true life’s practice and gateway to fulfillment that it is.
No, for the West, life was about something else — progress. What can be achieved, what can be mastered, what can be dominated? And, more importantly, how does one fare compared to everyone else in this race for success? To the Western mindset, the world is an open field, full of possibility and ready to be conquered. There is little time to stop and smell the roses on the way to glory because it’s not just a lengthy journey there — it’s a race.