It’s easy to take things for granted. There’s a saying that matches this, “you never know what you have until it’s gone.” For the most part, that’s true. Gratitude is waking up without a stuffy nose after having a cold for the past week. It’s coming home after a bad day and finding your pet excited to see you. Being grateful for the health you have and recognizing the beauty in what surrounds us. Lost gratitude leads to unhappiness. Sometimes I forget how privileged I am to have a roof over my head, food and water. Not everyone has this, but the stress of material life overshadows our basic needs being met. People think that living in a mansion and driving a fast car will make them happier, but it’s not guaranteed, especially if you’re not appreciative with what you started with. Gratitude prevents a bottomless pit where no amount of shoveling or money will end up in satisfaction.
Neoclassical economics assumes that it is in human nature to have insatiable wants, and that is the dominant discourse. With this notion, no amount of production or consumption will be enough, and society’s cravings will never be satisfied. Therefore, lacking gratitude will ultimately destroy the environment as we continue to exploit the resources we weren’t appreciative of in the first place. It is crucial that society breaks out of this consumerist cycle and realize the amount of wealth we already have created. Once we stop desiring more and become content with what we already have, the growth that supports capitalism would eventually slow. Gratitude allows a shift in priorities and an admiration for environment that was previously overlooked. For the audio, I’ve attached a YouTube video. The man is petting his dog and even though his dog is attacking him, he still finds relaxation. This is a form of gratitude for an arguably unpleasant dog.