How can I practice gratitude while recognizing and fighting injustice?
May 1, 2014 12:41 PM Subscribe
I'm trying to practice gratitude, release old grudges and generally be a happier person. However, I find that a lot of the advice like 'don't compare yourself to others,' 'count your blessings,' 'assume that others have good intentions,' ... doesn't address the fact that some people DON'T have good intentions, workplaces are often sexist and racist, and privilege means some people automatically have an easier time of it. How can I be content with what I have while still working for a better world?
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto to Religion & Philosophy (35 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I've spent a fair amount of my professional career working for social-justice-related organizations and even though I'm not doing that at the moment, it's permanently changed my world view. When I hear people say, "don't compare yourself to others, just be happy with what you have," I feel angry because I hear a patronizing subtext of "there there, don't challenge the status quo" -- especially when the advice comes from people who are older and more financially secure than I am. (I'm in my early 30's.)
But running around with a big megaphone saying "Aaaaauagh!! The world is unfair!! This is an emergency!!" is not sustainable (or effective). I know that it's not doing me any favors personally to be keeping score with people around me, resenting others' success and focusing over-much on the predicament of, for example, homelessness or the predatory for-profit college industry. Being angry or in a funk all of the time is not making the world better and it's sure not making my life better.
There must be something I'm not seeing. How can I both appreciate the world and want to change it? Personal experiences welcome, especially if you've struggled/are struggling with money.