“It is horrible to see the death and desperation in the world due to the pandemic”
“Aren’t you grateful that you are not infected?”
“It feels awful to see so many people lose their livelihoods due to the pandemic”
“Aren’t you grateful that you are not one of them?”
“I feel angry that the authorities became lax in allowing religious and political functions for people to gather”
“Aren’t you grateful that they are doing whatever they can to mitigate the issue?”
I have just given three examples of people shoving gratitude down your throat. I understand that Gratitude is good, we have to be thankful for what is working. But that does not mean that we cannot feel angry, sad, anxious, guilty and the myriad of emotions at the situation. There are many things that are working and we are grateful for that. There are many things not working so what is wrong with feeling whatever emotions you feel? Do we have to force Gratitude down everybody’s throat? If you don’t feel grateful they are ready to make you feel guilty for not expressing gratitude. Gratitude cannot be forced.
Every emotion has a place in our lives and we should honour that. Including gratitude. But that does not mean that we should not look and inspect at things not working in our lives. I am glad that I am not in the hospital fighting for oxygen but that does not stop me from feeling sad/angry/helpless when I watch other people suffer. The toxic positive people would like us to shut our eyes, ears, nose and mind to anything negative happening around us. One has to complain a bit about some aspect of life and the “Show some Gratitude” speech will roll on.
Feeling angry at unfairness, injustice is what will result in change. Feeling sad in sad situations is what helps us grieve. Feeling a bit anxious in situations where uncertainty overwhelms us, helps us prepare for the bad turn. Complaining about things not working is what will get it repaired.
Gratitude has a place in life but let us not overdo it by killing all other emotions