The fact that we can even ask questions about the quality of the life we live and the context of our influence over these decisions belies a position of immense privilege. For most of us in developed countries, our lives overflow with blessing. But countless opportunities for gratitude go floating by each day as we strain after more and more things that we supposedly need. There is no end to our pursuit of security when the borders of necessity and luxury are never marked out and held firm.
In my previous post, I discussed the importance of active gratitude and its impact on the workplace environment, incentivizing employees through positive reinforcement to contribute above and beyond. However, what I failed to consider in my original observation was the prevalence and context of gratitude in other cultures. Having been uprooted from a developed country in the eastern hemisphere and assimilated to the ways of the western world, I've encountered firsthand through my change in upbringings the ways in which cultural implications of verbal communication can hold significantly different meanings.
For instance, in India, saying "thank you" to a friend or relative likens them to the role of a stranger. Real friends are expected to be there for each other, to always help out in times of need, as a means of expressing gratitude for the friendship.
On the other end of the spectrum, the means of delivering gratitude must be culturally refined so as to avoid offending the recipient of the gratitude. In Germany, students are expected to knock on desks in lieu of clapping their hands in order to show appreciation for their lecturer and for their educational experience.
Through learning about different facets in which gratitude is implicitly or explicitly expressed, and the frequency of which it is delivered, I have thus come up with a few ideas on different ways we can incorporate the lessons from my quick spin around the globe, the root of many of these being mindfulness.