Gratitude as a way to appease our mind and soul
Giving thanks is more than a yearly tradition. Whether in scarcity or to celebrate a victory, gratitude was given through sacrifice in Roman times. Sacrifice was not only an essential part of the rite, but also obligatory, and woe to any conquerors who fail to thank God for their victory. Gratitude is associated with optimism.
Freud used the word “gratitude” and “grateful” often in his writing. Nevertheless, gratitude was not a prominent concept until Melanie Klein wrote her book, Envy and Gratitude. She describes gratitude as the feeling a child has in relation to that first object love, the mother, the caregiver. The infant first experience mother- and her substitutes- as the maternal breast or its symbolic representative. If this experience is securely inscribed as positive, then, love for the mother will preserve despite her imperfections. Gratitude is associated with that first experience of comfort. It helps overcome shortcomings, assists in making reparations and leads to peaceful states of mind.
Thanksgiving is spent with family members we have by choice or birthright. It is a time in the year when people recognize each other’s good deeds, and celebrate their lives as a positive contribution. We aim to feel a glee of comfort. We wish joy, peace, health, and prosperity for all.