I agree that we often try to wash away unpleasantness, which keeps us from feeling our full range of emotions and moving through them so we can be not just grateful, but better (whether that means healing of wounds or a more just world).
There is a disturbing trend among liberals to talk about gratitude. Everyone’s encouraged to have gratitude for the abundance in their lives. Everyone’s supposed to be grateful for all their blessings. On the surface, it’s a lovely sentiment. People should be mindful of the fact that they live privileged lives, and use that awareness to inform their interactions with people who are less privileged.
But it never goes that deep. It stops at “be grateful because you have it good.” The new Gratitude encourages insularity – think hard about what you have so that you aren’t thinking about people who don’t have anything. Gratitude is selfish. Being grateful for what you have invites the desire for more – more stuff (more friends, money, recognition) equals more gratitude, right?
This year has been full of horror: while the world was outraged at 12 people killed in attacks on Paris, thousands have died in Nigeria…
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