Sacred Gratitude: Social-Cultural Meanings

Gratitude is such a personal emotion. When one considers “gratitude” from a religious perspective, frequently viewers draw referents from their own social systems, cultural experiences, sets of morals, beliefs, ethics, worldviews, faiths, and/or spiritual elements. It seems that we all know what gratitude feels like, but we differ as to how we might explain it to each other.

As for me, I feel pleasure when I achieve a state of gratitude as, even if for a moment, I am removed from the here and now, and am transcended to a point of joy. I feel happy if I may cause gratitude in another person. I am touched to watch others experience gratitude. I am saddened when people can not find gratitude during a particularly difficult time.

I enjoy reading about gratitude. I find peace while studying particular behaviors of gratitude; when viewing specific practices related to gratitude; if learning about cultural systems related to gratitude; during visits to sanctified places; as I visit preserved holy places; and when examining meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, and/or religious or spiritual aspects of human culture.

Gratitude is especially nice when shared through stories. Stories contain symbols often believed by the story tellers and followers of various belief systems. The meanings of the symbols often transcend life. The power of the meanings is experienced deep within each of us. Faith, explanations, reason of thought, and preserved practices are all composites of our moral virtues as I described in an earlier posting on our gratitude streams, on February 7, 2021. For readers who prefer to listen to some postings rather than to read the text, a description of the acquisition of our moral virtues was also described in an audio posting on March 18, 2021, titled “Our Gratitude Stream (Audio)

While what I describe as “gratitude zero” such as playing with your pet is fun, I prefer “gratitude ultra” such as described within this posting, as, at least to me, sacred gratitude is deeper, more long lasting, shapes my daily behavior patterns, and directs my actions towards others. Sacred gratitude is built experience by experience. Sacred gratitude is shaped by our parents, teachers, pastors, priests, and mentors. Sacred gratitude is transcendent. Sacred gratitude is social and cultural responsibility.

These are some of my thoughts for today. From where do you draw your own gratitude?


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