Thursday, June 27

Louis Michael: The gratitude muscle

- September 12, 2017


Never forget how privileged we are to live in a technological age. Like all other millennials I’ve been brought up on tales of the mysterious world that preceded our generation. According to legend it was a time before the internet wrapped humanity up in its embrace and brought us all so much together.

At first I heard the words as yet another lecture about the entitlement of youth and our comparative lack of gratitude. But eventually, after an unending barrage of stories about trawling through the library to find info, or sticking to an arrangement to meet rather than being able to text to cancel at the last minute, I began to hear what they were saying.

Compare the expectations of past and present. In today’s technology we expect a streamlined intuitive format that is easy-to-use and requires minimum effort. However, in the past the comparatively inefficient technology was not begrudgingly accepted, instead it was joyously embraced as a pioneering portal into a new age for humanity. Those there at the dawn of technology were born into the darkness that was then eventually lit up by the progress of the 20th century. But for us, those caught on the cusp of the millennium, we were born into a world lighter and brighter than that of our parents. We’ve never known the same period of ‘darkness’ as them, and as such we have fallen into a foreseen yet understandable trap. Desensitisation. Daily exposure to the only world we have ever known normalises even the grandest achievements and makes us forget that we are indeed surrounded by grand and marvellous achievements!

Fortunately, the cure can be summarised in a single world: gratitude. If we constantly exercise the gratitude muscle in our brain we will constantly stimulate the part of our consciousness that generates the essence of awe. We can make sure to remain in that magical awe-inspiring world simply by repeatedly reminding ourselves how privileged we are to live in a time where marvels are all around us and continually being produced.

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