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“Stop Whining!” (“On Gratitude and Suffering,” Part II)

Are you charitable?

Gratitude title

PART II: “Stop Whining”

I feel gratitude because I have suffered. The greater my suffering, the greater my ability to appreciate that which I have. I am keenly aware of those factors in my life that have held me separate from greater misery and created positive experiences and emotions.

Gratitude logoSo when I hear someone speak of someone else who is suffering by saying, “They should count their blessings and stop whining,” I experience it as what is sometimes called a “mind-fuck.” A mind-fuck is something that postulates one thing without acknowledging another factor that is also true and contradicts the first postulation. A mind-fuck twists logic, and often presumes multiple false conditions.

“You should count your blessings and stop whining” presumes that the person in question does not count their blessings, which indeed they might, and that if they did count their blessings they would not need to speak of their suffering. Both those presumptions are often false.

The speaker is not really interested in whether or not the person in question really does count their blessings. Often the speaker’s primary desire is to not hear about someone else’s pain.

Continue to Part III: Is Suffering Contagious?

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