Last Updated on July 21, 2021

Too much has been written about gratitude in this era. Write in your gratitude journal. Blah blah. This is not that kind of post.

Adversity and gratitude

I’ve written in detail about the Hedonic Reset.

I also love this advice wishing you bad luck:

Now the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.

Chief Justice John Roberts

Full transcript is here.

Gratitude grace

I will tell you about my one gratitude practice though.

I’m fairly atheist, but I’ve adopted this from the Christian tradition. Instead of giving thanks to a God before a meal, I just give a more general thanks. It’s a nice ritual. Sometimes I take a moment to thank the chicken if you’re eating chicken, and the cow if there’s a cream sauce. Sometimes I take a moment to be thankful for something that happened that day, or something in the environment. It’s pretty freeform but I enjoy it.