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III. A Rough Definition of Gratitude

November 27th, 2007 | 1 min read

By Keith E. Buhler

Gratitude Is the Spontaneous Emotion of Thanksgiving and Happiness in Response to Some Unmerited Good.

When someone gives you a gift you did not expect and did not deserve, you ought (and most people do) feel a spontaneous sense of gratitude. Gratitude is an openness, a rather vulnerable and tender affection, a sense of one’s own lowliness (not to say worthlessness) and unmerited favor. It is often said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” It is equally true that, “It is more humbling to receive than to give.” To receive a gift, a kind word, the honor of a friendship is to accept one’s own true place in the world, a place of having needs and wants that others may satisfy.