We might be grateful persons, with thankful hearts, and be fanatical about gratitude journals and intentions, but as soon as we walk out our front door or turn on the news, we are confronted with a world of payback, quid pro quo, corruption, and ungrateful neighbors. Thus, even for those of us who live more gratefully, our personal practices and habits are at odds with the world in which we live. We are like fish swimming in a polluted river. The chances are not very good that one healthy fish can survive in a poisoned stream. We get used to toxicity. We cannot sustain even our own health. For the good of all, we must resist the status quo, we must clean up the water. Here is where gratitude and resistance combine. Gratitude resists unhealthy environments and empowers the possibility of change. If gratitude is built upon a myth of scarcity and imperial hierarchies, it has been corrupted. If gratitude is privatized and collaborates with injustice, it is not really gratitude. Thus the better the surrounding environment, the more grateful people become, aware of gifts and abundance, open to hope, creativity, and joy. Gratitude begins with a profound awareness of abundance and builds communities of well-being and generosity. Gratitude opens toward grace.
From “Grateful” by Diana Butler Bass – HarperOne