Bringing back gratitude to a secular world

RN Encounter: by Kerry Stewart.

Australians used to perform many rituals that taught the young to be grateful—from grace to manners to the oft heard childhood refrain about ‘children in Africa’. But as the modern world has imprinted the ethics of the marketplace onto institutions like schools and the family, gratefulness doesn’t seem to come as easily to many raised in our lucky country

Do you have a problem with the word gratitude? Does it conjure up feelings of guilt, weakness or indebtedness? Well, you’re not alone.

Toni Powell admits she was hyper-critical, and tended to be a drama queen when it came to things going wrong, which is the opposite of being grateful. On many levels she struggled with the word ‘gratitude’ but now she goes into businesses to help managers and staff be less critical and resentful.

‘I think it has very sweet, womanly…connotations,’ she says.

‘[W]hen you go into a room full of men and they know you’re going to talk on gratitude they’re so hostile because they think you’re going to be all flowers, roses and puppy dogs.’




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