• Alyssa Piperis

The Importance of Gratitude

I'm currently a participant/cast member in the development of a potential new video-based app, and one of my fellow cast members posted a video yesterday about gratitude. Gratitude, to me, is one of the most important virtues a person can practice and cherish. It allows you to

1.) put things into perspective,

2.) truly appreciate and honor the good people, things, and opportunities you have in your life, and

3.) love yourself and empathize with others on a deeper level.

When you practice true gratitude, you complain less and empathize more. I see complaining as both tacky and an instant red flag in terms of a person's character, because it represents a lack of gratitude. Now, don't get me wrong, it's okay to feel upset or angry on occasion and need to vent to someone. Everyone is entitled to feel the emotions they are feeling inside of them, and even the best of people need to vent here and there. What really rubs me the wrong way is seeing people unloading their drama, frustration, and/or anger publicly via a negative Facebook rant or a blatant bad attitude and lack of courtesy. If you're throwing your emotions on people in these ways, you're looking for some combination of sympathy, pity, and attention, whether consciously or subconsciously.

It's so important to remember that everyone is fighting their own battle(s). You don't need to obsess over political correctness (although some real thought about it can be helpful) and walk on eggshells, but remember that for every tough thing you go through, there's someone going through more. I know the "starving children in Africa" line doesn't help most people, because it doesn't take away from current, right-here-right-now feelings of pain or exhaustion. But it's a good reminder that there are people out there, near or far, suffering from things like hunger, ALS, Alzheimer's, cancer, etc. And isn't it interesting how the people suffering the hardest are usually the ones who find it within themselves to be strong, positive, and grateful? If they can do it, you sure as hell can. And you should. Every single day.

You don't need to feel like the worst person in the world for being upset when there are people suffering far more than you are. It's okay to feel. It's human to feel. Just please realize how blessed you are. You could be posting about the trials and tribulations of motherhood to someone who just found out they can't have kids. You could be posting about having to wake up early for work to a person with terminal cancer who would give anything for the energy to wake up for work again.

Check in with yourself, and don't take for granted what you do have. There are plenty who only wish they had what you do.

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