Hello Yoga-Friends ~ It’s Gratituesday! Have you ever considered the cultural implications of gratitude? Well, you’re not alone. Not many have, until about ten years ago, when Jonathan Tudge, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and perhaps the foremost expert on cultural differences in gratitude began to explore this topic. Turns out our culture shapes how we express gratitude. [https://gratefulness.org/resource/how-cultural-differences-shape-your-gratitude/]
A 2011 study revealed that the value ‘individualist cultures’ place on self-improvement and personal agency bolsters the efforts of this cohort to become more satisfied. On the other end of the spectrum, the pursuit of enhanced personal well-being is de-emphasized in ‘collectivist cultures’ which place less value upon self-focus or individual goals. “Giving and receiving help is an expected part of daily life for members of collectivist cultures, rather than an uplifting surprise, as may be the case for those from individualist cultures,” writes researcher Lilian J. Shin and her colleagues in their forthcoming study. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394986/]
At a time when (our American) society seems to be more about me me me, we really need to get people thinking about connections,” says Professor Tudge.
Across cultures it appears that attitudes and expressions of gratitude link our perceptions of ‘the self’ with its relation to that of ‘others.’ Ultimately, gratitude is a skill we learn within our culture to strengthen our relationships, our connections with one another. “At a time when (our American) society seems to be more about me me me, we really need to get people thinking about connections,” says Professor Tudge. For this reason, Tudge suggests that there may be more to gratitude than simply using it to boost your happiness score. Consider recipricating kindness as an ideal moral virtue; that the expression of gratitude can be a method for ‘paying it forward’, which then naturally leads us to feeling more connected.
As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful to pay it forward. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ________________________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #culturalawareness #jonathantudge