Jan 10, 2016

Egocentric improvement

Barbara Ehrenreich wrote ‘The Selfish Side of Gratitude’ in The New York Times on December 31, 2015. I found it quite sensible and powerful, especially the last three paragraphs. Here are some of them.
If there is any loving involved in this, it is self-love, and the current hoopla around gratitude is a celebration of onanism.
God is an evasion; there are crowds, whole communities of actual people, many of them with aching backs and tenuous finances, who made the meal possible.
The real challenge of gratitude lies in figuring out how to express our debt to them, whether through generous tips or, say, by supporting their demands for decent pay and better working conditions. But now we’re not talking about gratitude, we’re talking about a far more muscular impulse — and this is, to use the old-fashioned term, “solidarity” — which may involve getting up off the yoga mat.
Self is one of the most difficult aspects to deal with in our life. While it can provide motivations to work hard, stay resilient, and achieve goals, more often we are in trouble handling it. So, we must appreciate such a heads-up. But, at the same time, it may not be so sensible to mock those who need to start somewhere. It is still better to make a start than only to make a New Year’s resolution. We just need to be careful and reflect on why we are doing it every now and then. Being introspective is also on the self-improvement list, isn’t it?

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