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Entitlement vs Gratitude #1000Voices

November 20, 2015

1000 Voices

1000 Voices

I read the many helpful prompts for this month’s 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion posts with interest. The theme that coincides with Thanksgiving and the aftermath of the violence in Paris is gratitude.   Gratitude is always part of compassion, but this month we will attempt to show what part gratitude plays in the openness of our hearts. I was stuck on the question, “What is the opposite of gratitude?”, a prompt that made me think more deeply on the subject.  In order to know the shadow of some quality one needs to know the true nature of that quality.  What exactly is gratitude?  What are the elements of a sincere grateful spirit?  We can’t dissect or analyze this literally, but must define what it is by what it is not. After sleeping and dreaming about it I have a few ideas about the real enemies of thankfulness.  I have a little list.

  • Entitled social classes
  • Entitled nations
  • Entitled religions
  • Entitled families
  • Entitled children

What I realize about this problem is that it is purely a matter of perspective.  While some people are grateful to survive others are sore winners.  Sometimes being the individual or group with privilege or advantage obscures reality for those people.  Who can forget (once you know the story of the historical Buddha) the well meaning parents of Siddhartha Gautama who hid all suffering from him by royal decree.  Nobody in his kingdom who was old or in poor health was permitted to be seen by the young prince.  The fact that people suffer, grow old and die was a reality from which his parents thought they could protect him.  Eventually, of course, he accidentally caught a glimpse of this truth.  He left his palace, family, and weirdly artificial environment to find out what else he had been missing.  One of my favorite sayings attributed to the historical Buddha is:

I believe that separation through a feeling of entitlement is cruel and isolating.  All beings suffer and all beings deserve peace and happiness.  The illusion that some of us are better than others prohibits the appreciation of the gift of life.  Entitlement in all of its various disguises is a limitation to thankfulness and therefore to enlightenment.  I wish all my gentle readers the experience of deep gratitude and compassion now and into the future.  Please read more about this subject or add your voice here.

 

 

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comments

Wow. Yes!

Liked by 1 person

livebysurprise

November 20, 2015

#gratitude for this one Pam. VERY aptly timed post!

Liked by 1 person

Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

November 21, 2015

YEA! I love it. Great post. I love the tie-in to Buddha as well .

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Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

November 22, 2015

Thanks for sharing the story of Buddha. It’s very applicable to me at the moment as a parent needing to interpret events in Paris for my children as well as knowing how much to expose them to such horror. Rather than rehashing things, here’s a link to my post: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/a-conversation-no-parent-should-have/
Our posts seem to link well together.
I get really annoyed by a sense of entitlenment, especially from my kids. They can expect so much and give so little at times that it bothers me. They don’t appreciate my reminders either. Take care and best wishes, Rowena

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roweeee

November 25, 2015

Thank you so much for your visit. I am off to read your post.

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Pamela Morse

November 25, 2015

2 notes

  1. Entitlement vs Gratitude #1000Voices | 1000 Voi... reblogged this and added:

    […] I read the many helpful prompts for this month's 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion posts with interest. The theme that coincides with Thanksgiving and the aftermath of the violence in Paris is grati…  […]

    Like

  2. Patience vs Violence | mermaidcamp reblogged this and added:

    […] recently gave thought to the question “What is the opposite of gratitude?” I decided it is entitlement.  This exercise works well for all kinds of grand concepts and […]

    Like

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