Thankfulness vs. Self-Congratulatory “Gratitude”

I’m not sure what happened, but the meaning of “gratitude” seems to have changed over the years. Gratitude used to be about acknowledging and appreciating someone else for their help or service. Now, instead of being grateful to someone, we’re grateful for something.

“What are you grateful for?” is a question that turns inward on the self instead of acknowledging the generosity or kindness of others. What are we really saying here? Is the unspoken question really: “How lucky do you feel that you have all this stuff (or money, or relationship, or success) vs. that poor sap over there who is broke and alone?”

Genuine gratitude should not actually depend on what you have. You could have nothing, but be grateful to someone for being kind to you, or grateful to God for giving you life.

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