Practicing gratitude: Can you ever feel grateful enough?

Practicing gratitude

I believe that practicing gratitude is an extremely helpful tool, unfortunately often misused in organised and structured societies to keep the sheep in place.
Used on a personal level however, I believe the benefits, such as less stress, personal growth and nurturing a problem solving attitude are very real.
(see box for references and sources of scientific literature such as the very interesting articles by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough; Geek Must Reads!).

"[Grateful people] have higher levels of subjective well-being. Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. [...]
Grateful people also have higher levels of control of their environments, personal growth, purpose in life, and self acceptance. [...]
Grateful people also have less negative coping strategies, being less likely to try to avoid the problem, deny there is a problem, blame themselves, or cope through substance use. [...]"

※Bolding by me. source (last accessed 2017/01/31)


Can you ever feel grateful enough however?

I have been practicing gratitude for a few month now, every morning writing down three things that I am grateful for.
These ranged from being thankful for clean tap water to ad-free web-browsing due to Ad-block plugins.
The other week however I found myself in the movie rental store and came by two movies that left great impressions on me when I watched them back in high school.
They gave me a glimpse into very different worlds that were unimaginable to me and yet extremely real. The two movies are La Haine (1995) and Citade de Deus (City of God, 2002).
Both movies show a very real glimpse into the lives of youth in a poor Paris banlieue and Rio suburb respectively.
Youth, that wake up every morning not knowing if their friends still live or if the government will raze their home to the ground today in order to develop new housing for the middle-class.
Youth, that live in extreme environments and are thankful for everything well good so far: jusqu'ici tous vas bien ....
Thenceforth I started listing more basic things to be grateful for.
Within a week, however, this had spiraled down to a point where I wrote entries that, yes I should be grateful for, but were so alien to me that I couldn't fathom the feeling of such not being taken for granted.


Main characters from the movie La Haine (1995). (Photo: Truncated from promotional Poster)


Back to the starting point: Why practice gratitude?

Practicing gratitude is a tool to improve your own well-being and hence, for that purpose, it is best to be grateful for things you can relate to.
Endlessly being grateful for ever and ever more honorable things might in contrary make you unhappy and fill you with guilt.
For helping others, use other tools, for improving yourself, practice gratitude.


Movie Posters for La Haine (1995) and Citade de Deus (City of God, 2002):