Over 2015 I was taking part in the Local Adventurer Gratitude Challenge. I did fine to start off with but it got harder toward the end.
I kept feeling that the gratitude posts sounded self congratulatory, who was I grateful to? Maybe the problem was that I wasn't #blessed, I didn't believe I was thanking a god for something.
That idea of gratitude to a god wore away at me, irritating. It didn't create a pearl, instead I realised that I hate the idea that we should be grateful. That we should count our blessings. That we might want to list 100 things that we ought to be thankful for.
And if we're not #blessed by a god, then perhaps we're just lucky, but if so shouldn't we be working to make everyone else lucky instead of smugly waving our lists of blessings?
But whenever I come across mentions of gratitude there seems to be a suggestion that someone or something has blessed us, and who would that be? There's also another side to being grateful. It's the idea, which I've always disliked, that there is some wrathful Abrahamic god whose mercy we should be grovelling in the dirt for. Who we should thank for not giving us cancer today and beg not to do it tomorrow. If there is such a god, then he's a self obsessed wanker and can go jump.
We are all aware that health and happiness are transient and can soon be whisked away, but being grateful for their presence is just weird. I've learned that I feel smug being thankful for my health when people are dying, that I feel it is rude to be thankful for our safety when our country isn't allowing enough people to come to safety.
I don't want to be nebulously grateful. I want to be useful. So this year is not about gratitude, it's about kindness. I'm getting in a kind mindset and doing something kind every day. Big or little doesn't matter, it's all about getting in the kindset.
Fancy joining in?