My dictionary defines gratitude as:

1: a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation; ex. “he was overwhelmed with gratitude for their help”

I believe people tend to think of this by using both terms ‘overwhelming and appreciation’ when presented with the word. As the dictionary example suggests, it’s a feeling that goes above and beyond just giving thanks. So, I question whether this feeling is mostly subjective, or are there some definitive levels which can be applied.

Prior to my employment redundancy earlier this year, I was thankful for having a job that I had worked my way up to. I was also unthankful for having to work with indecisive clods that required an instruction book and a caretaker to help them lick an ice cream cone. In general, these opposing feelings would balance out in favor of the positive. I knew my place, did the best work possible, and kept my opinions to myself.

That’s gratitude for you.

A different view looks at my household; nuclear family (one income) minus the white picket fence. The family wants for nothing, yet expects more than what can be afforded. Is it unreasonable to expect something in return? Basic chores? Common sense applied to obvious needs (trash full = take out trash)? And to expect this without delay or argument?

That’s gratitude for you.

All of us are (supposedly) grateful for living in this country. We have freedoms that some folk can only dream about. Yet there’s crime, corruption, deviance – and that’s just from those we elect to rule. what about all the other layers and sectors of our society? Should we be grateful for them, too. If not, what have each of us done in response? Or do we accept our conditions as a freebie and let others do as they please, right or wrong?

That’s gratitude for you.