Written by Anne Gorgy
Featured image: Monk by the Sea, oil painting by Caspar David Friedrich
Happy Vs. Grateful
Isn’t it everyone’s dream to be happy? The one goal that all people work towards. We all have a preset notion and imagination of how our happiness looks like and we constantly confuse being happy with being grateful. That’s the core topic discussed in the Ted Talk by David Steindl-Rast. The talk clarifies key differences between being happy and grateful and outlines a methodology to achieving gratefulness.
Happy is not grateful. A lot of people enjoy happy moments or everything that would make them happy. But as they ask for more of the same or something else, they are no longer grateful and might lose their source of happiness. On the other hand, you might find someone with a lot of misfortunes in their life, but they are grateful for them. Thus, generating and deriving a sense of happiness. It is gratefulness then that make us happy.
The 3 Steps to Gratitude
Gratefulness occurs when something valuable is given to us. These are two conditions, being valuable and freely given. That is every moment. We must come to an awareness that every moment is a given, a gift with all the opportunities it possesses. And every opportunity is therefore a gift within every gift. And we lose those opportunities to enjoy, as we are constantly rush through life. We must learn to have patience, stand up for our opinion, to learn, and to suffer. To make ourselves available for opportunities. And we can only do so by 3 steps. Stop, look, go.
We miss opportunities because we don’t stop. We must build stop signs into our lives and consistently remind ourselves when we seem to forget to stop and contemplate. We then must look, open our eyes, senses and our hearts for the wonderful richness given to us. Opportunities invite us to do something and we must open up for opportunities and help others be happy. Lastly, we must go and act upon whatever life is giving us at any moment. To enjoy it and be creative with it.
A Grateful World
Being grateful has the capability to change our world tremendously. If we’re grateful, we are not fearful. If we aren’t fearful, we are not violent. If we are grateful we act out of a sense of enough not scarcity, and we are more willing to share. We become more accepting to the differences in people. It is not about equality between people but having an equal respect for everyone. We must view our world as an interacting network of small groups rather than the old notions of the reversed pyramid.
A grateful world is one comprised of joyful people. Grateful people are joyful people. The more grateful and joyful people are out there, the more we will have a joyful world and we will be able to build a network of grateful living. And through achieving gratefulness in our daily lives, we are then able to revolutionize the world and make it a happy place. So, stop, look, and go.