During this time of Thankfulness and Thanksgiving with Wisdom comes Gratitude
By Elizabeth Sukys-Rice, MSW
Can we be grateful for our challenges?
According to the Journal of gerontology psychological science and social science ,series B, in the September 2014 issues, gratitude and wisdom can go hand-in-hand. Wisdom and gratitude have had a long philosophical and religious tradition the scientific psychology has only started to investigate them. The recent interest in studying the correlation between wisdom and gratitude comes out of the movement of positive psychology and the idea of growing and living a good life. The concept or statement ‘growing the good life’ fits with the idea, as we age we gain wisdom, but also, as we are faced with significant challenges we can be grateful for those challenges. We can develop the ability to look back at our lives and see that due to previous hard times we’ve been able to grow and improve.
Types of Gratitude
It is said that there’re two types a gratitude the first one is referred to as interpersonal gratitude, in short that means that if there’s a benefit to an individual the benefit triggers a grateful feeling response, for example, if an individual does favor for somebody the recipient might or should experience of feeling of interpersonal gratitude. The second type of gratitude is called generalized gratitude. Generalized gratitude is an appreciation for life and seeing the world in a positive light, for example seeing the beauty of a flower appreciating your health a recognizing an experience and having appreciation.
Types of Wisdom
The definition of wisdom can also be separated into two possibilities. An individual can have general wisdom, Insight and knowledge about life in general. The second type can be a little more collective as a person ages and has personal experiences their wisdom can provide insight and knowledge in certain situations and this provides them with skills and abilities based on those experiences.
Both Wise and Grateful
When a person has wisdom and is simultaneously grateful, it presents with an awareness that one can have a positive outcome from a negative event, they understand that they have limited control over some unexpected events. They also understand the events can have significant important as it relates to others. This is known as benefit finding, the person isn’t necessarily grateful for the negative event but their life experiences have shown them that good can come out of a negative event.
As we age we develop a fuller acceptance of our life especially when the end is approaching. A negative event that is unexpected and uncontrollable an individual can integrate them into their life story. This awareness contribute to an appreciation of life, post traumatic growth in the development of wisdom. Wise individuals know that much of life is uncontrollable and this knowledge does not make them feel helpless, it empowers them because they have learned to deal with negative events, they know that their inner self does not depend on external sources.