Thanksgiving is next week (already)!
So, we thought that this Thursday at unTapped we could discuss the dynamic that exists between a sense of gratitude and a sense of entitlement. We've seen this play out on a number of different levels, of course. There is the way that it plays out on a national/international political level. It plays out in faith groups, and, especially in families and personal relationships.
On a political level, we have seen this most recently play out in Europe. Several governments have instituted austerity measures in order to pay off massive debt and avoid government bankruptcy. Such moves have not been well received by people who feel the government is mandated to pensions and retirement benefits. France, for instance, has been struggling with massive riots across the country for angry citizens who feel entitled to these benefits. Britain, Germany and others have also started an austerity program and the US may have to grapple with this reality next.
Faith groups often struggle with a sense of entitlement from their members. People insist on certain programs or ministries, but a minority of those same people are willing to participate or fund those things.
Do we even need to mention family members that seem to take everything we give them for granted? How many times have you heard about a friend or relative that receives a gift or help and will actually complain about it!?!?
With all this negativity surrounding entitlement, perhaps it is good to remember how to be grateful. Here in the US, we all have so much to be thankful for. None of it happened by accident and we would do ourselves a favor not to take it for granted.
In fact, scientists have researched the effects of gratitude on people's health. Read about it here.
Lives lived in gratitude are happier by about 25 percent, healthier, more fulfilling and often longer. Gratitude helps reduce feelings of envy, resentment, regret, bitterness and greed. Grateful people experience more vitality, optimism and hope, and thus greater satisfaction with life.
So, what are you grateful for? Does your gratitude affect your sense of entitlement? Can you feel grateful for the things you feel entitled to?
Join us this Thursday for our final discussion of 2010! We'll give everybody a chance to share what they are thankful for and what they are entitled to.
See you this Thursday at Short's Brewing in downtown Bellaire!