Gratitude is the Opposite of Entitlement

Although Thanksgiving has been over for more than a week, I cannot get gratitude out of my mind.  And my heart.  I really do believe that it is the number one superpower that can change any situation around and is the foundation for individual happiness and community healing.

Here’s the math:

Noticing all the things I am thankful for + Sharing them (With Myself/With Others) = “I have a pretty good life!”

Noticing all the things that piss me off + Sharing them (With Myself/With Others) = “My life sucks!”

And when we get to the “My life sucks” part of the equation, then there must be someone to blame.  I am a bad person.  My parents messed me up.  Politicians are only out to screw me.  My boss is jealous.  Etc.  Etc.  This loop only leads to an overblown sense of entitlement, which, according to Wikipedia is, “a symptom of narcissistic personality disorder, seen in those who “because of early frustrations…arrogate to themselves the right to demand lifelong reimbursement from fate.”

Gratitude and Entitlement

We certainly don’t need anymore of that.  This loop can stop with regular gratitude practice.  Do it for yourself, your family, your workplace.  Just…do it.

This post was inspired by an incredible blog post about gratitude that my partner wrote the other day on our Glitter & Razz blog.


Gratitude Activity: What Do Your Friends Teach You About You?

You can learn a lot about yourself and your own values by taking an assessment of your friends.  Here’s a quick activity for you today:

  • Give yourself a little time to think.  Gather all of your friends lives and put them together in your head.  If for some reason you can’t picture your friends in your head, no problem.  Just browse through your friends on Facebook.  Really focus on your good friends. The folks you choose to spend time with on a regular basis.  You can skip those Facebook “friends” who you met one time at a party or whatever.
  • What do your friends have in common?  What would you say if you had to sum your friends up in one overarching description?
  • Now, what comes up for you?  What does this overarching description tell you about your own life…your own values…your own choices?
  • Can you include yourself in this same overarching description? Do you feel lucky that you are part of this amazing group of friends doing what you consider to be amazing things?  Or, does it make you uncomfortable that you have made choices that are similar to your friends?  Do you wish you were making different choices?
  • If you notice that your life does not match this overarching description, ask yourself “why not?”  Do you have a longing to be more like your friends?  Or, are you someone who has grown apart from your friends and are looking for a new community to be a part of?

This is the week that we Americans all sit down and celebrate gratitude all at the same time.  I love this holiday.  It’s my absolute favorite.  And one reason is because I believe gratitude is a superpower that can help us transform any situation.  I believe that gratitude is the practice of celebrating your own gifts and celebrating the gifts in each other.  Our friends are gifts to be celebrated.  Some of us feel connected to and supported by our friends.  Others of us feel estranged.  Regardless, we can all feel grateful that we have a community of people who hold up that mirror before us – who allow us to stop and reflect so that we can continue to practice making the choices that will bring us to our best selves.