5 Key Points To Understand Gratitude

5 key points to understand gratitude

Both feeling and virtue, gratitude is a way of being in the world that can change life, even and above all, in what is most commonplace in everyday life. In her Little Praise for Gratitude, Olympia Alberti explores the many facets of this vital momentum.

Gratitude occupies an important place in the methods of personal development. Presented as a key to inner evolution, it is nonetheless the exact opposite of selfishness, explains novelist and essayist Olympia Alberti in her Little Praise of Gratitude (Les Pérégrines editions).

Gratitude is a feeling and a virtue

Defined by the Oxford dictionary as "recognition for a service, for a benefit received", gratitude can also be more precisely a feeling. In this case, the Larousse dictionary defines it as "affectionate feeling towards a benefactor".

For Olympia Alberti, author of a Little Praise for Gratitude (Les Pérégrines editions), this goes further because the feeling of gratitude can also be expressed simply when we witness a scene that "gives us good. -being, a happiness, an often inexpressible sweetness ”. But even more: for this specialist in semantics and spiritual semiology, gratitude is also a virtue, because it is a value that is lived.

Gratitude is the opposite of selfishness and jealousy

We can indeed want to defend and value gratitude in our daily life. It is worth it, because it is attached to "two other founding feelings, two powerful virtues for the quality and depth of our humanity: altruism and humility", recalls Olympia Alberti.

Altruism is a free gesture towards others, whether they are known to us or unknown to us: we act for the "beauty of the soul", without expecting anything in return. Humility is accepting that we can also depend on others, that they can help us. Gratitude therefore implies the existence of a real connection with others and the possibility of an exchange.

Gratitude is contagious

"Gratitude is the complete opposite of frustration, it makes you optimistic, in short: generous," writes Olympia Alberti. Once you've done it once, you just have one desire, to start over. But not only: gratitude creates a positive chain. Indeed, according to the author, she "does not always oblige, and may just be the urge to do, in turn, something good." Because I feel grateful to someone, I act more generously, and maybe something I do will mean a lot to someone, who in turn becomes grateful, is more generous.

Another reason why gratitude is contagious is the idea that when one expresses gratitude, "there is happiness, for everyone": for the one who expresses it and for the recipient, of course, but not only. . Anyone who hears this message of gratitude can feel the happiness shared by the one who expresses their gratitude, and experience a moment of joy.

Gratitude is not just politeness

We naturally associate gratitude with the idea of ​​"saying thank you". But be careful not to confuse it with simple (but necessary) politeness, warns Olympia Alberti: “We say thank you for a yes or a no. Politeness. Does someone in front of you hold the door when entering or exiting the subway or a department store? Education, courtesy, just caring - thank you. This is sometimes a matter of simple kindness. But if your arms are cluttered with packages, a little more heart is already slipping into this thank you. "

Gratitude changes our relationship to the world

Gratitude therefore implies sincere attention to others and awareness of the generous gesture he has made towards us. For the author, the stakes are enormous: “the gratitude which I wish to praise […] is linked to the most intimate consciousness of being, of the Living: recognizing that we owe something good to someone. 'a then, long after the feeling of gratitude has become a virtue, recognize that we are all a part of a greater whole. And that everyone has in themselves a part of the responsibility ”.

To experience gratitude on a daily basis is therefore to experience "a kind of altruism that helps our perceptual field to open up. Instead of being carried to cynicism, to bitterness, we naturally opt for a positive thought, which develops a happiness to be shared, and we also naturally become a benevolent being, grateful, confident in the energies of life ” .

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