“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,
but the parent of all the others”
Marcus Tullius Cicero
As Warren Buffet once acknowledged, a significant part of his success was simply due to his luck at winning of the “ovarian lottery”. Perhaps we’re not as (financially) successful as Mr. Buffet, but I would argue that all of us have won the ovarian lottery by being born in the 20th century and having the good fortune of living in Canada! Not only that, we should be incredibly thankful for it.
Similar to Buffet’s perspective, I love Hugh MacLeod’s line, “Believing in what you do is a good sign that you have already won the cosmic lottery”. I appreciate that this “belief” can be found in many vocations, but especially so in the philanthropic sector.
We’re great believers in the idea that gratitude plays a big part in being happy and successful, and that gratitude precedes the latter two, not the other way around.
The fact that we exist at all is pretty miraculous (or at least, the odds are 140 trillion to one), let alone that we live in a land of plenty, in a time of plenty, and all the modern ideas and conveniences that go with it.
That isn’t enough for us. Nothing ever is, of course. We are hardwired to keep noticing the negatives, and to ignore the positives. Then again, the positives never seem to jump out of the bushes and eat you, the way negatives have been known to do. The Good Lord made us that way for a reason.
Sure, life is full of danger. Life is full of suffering. The trick is not how to get rid of those (because you can’t), the trick is to make it all seem worth the trouble, in the end.
And believing in what you do is a good start. That’s why a good company culture is so important. That’s why people are willing to work so hard to attain it.
People want to believe in their own lives, and those of the people around them. It’s human nature.