Karma Be Knowin’: Why I Hate the Phrase “Be Grateful”


Life is funny. And I don’t mean funny like “Ha Ha” funny. I mean funny like, “Somebody just put me outta my misery” funny. But then sometimes life is f*cking awesome. So I guess we have to learn to take the good with the bad. You, know? Be grateful.

Ugh. That phrase. “Be grateful.” I always cringe when I hear it. Not because I don’t wanna be grateful, but because I feel like it shames people who actually want more than they already have, and it takes away from how the person may be feeling at the time.

Quick story:

I have a Nissan Altima. And I have a BMW that my dad gave me just this year. The BMW broke down on me last week. So after phoning home distraught, I realized that I may not ever drive the BMW again if it cost too much to fix. Then it finally hit me–I’d have to drive my Nissan again. And it’s not that I wasn’t grateful that I had my Nissan to fall back on–because I certainly was/am. But you see, this Nissan is silver with a black door. (Don’t ask) The brakes squeak at the slightest tap. It has a dent on the driver side, AND passenger side. And it smells. The seats are cloth…it smells. Kinda like french fries. Needless to say, I hate the car. But it gets me from point A to point B. Here’s the what I’m getting at: I felt really ashamed that I was upset about having to drive the car. Who did I think I was? But here’s the truth of the matter…it wasn’t that I wasn’t grateful for my dear old Nissan…I just wanted more, because I knew it was possible.

But ya know, that’s kinda how life is. Some people yearn for more. Some people KNOW what they want, and they believe that they deserve it…and that’s OK. Now I’m not saying you should be over the top, and super materialistic and Donald Trump-y, but I do think society has a bad habit of shaming people for wanting more–whether it’s a new job, new scenery, or just a new lease on life. It’s seem like we’re always telling people to “be grateful” even when they don’t have a pot to piss in–yea, that’s a really bad habit of ours.

It’s like telling a group of kids that they should just “be grateful” for the opportunity to play with their jump ropes, while they’re watching another group of kids have the time of their lives eating cotton candy and riding awesome rides at an amusement park across the street.

I mean, I get why people do it. Helping people see the value in the things that they DO have, no matter how small is a BIG deal!

I get it. People should ABSOLUTELY understand that the things they have are things to be thankful for and to consider before having a complete hissy fit. But I just want people to know that it’s OK to want more, and it’s perfectly OK to say that you’re not satisfied with where you are or what you have right now. Don’t stunt your own growth by telling yourself that you should just “be grateful”…you could be missing an opportunity of a lifetime.

“The fact that you yearn for more doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful for what
you have or that you’re greedy.  It means you have a higher calling.  Your
feelings of longing indicate that your present reality is too confining,
maybe even suffocating, because you know there’s more beyond what you now
possess and more beyond what you have experienced in life thus far.”  Some
people ask, “Is this all there is to life?  The answer always lies within
the very one who ask the question! -T.D. Jakes


One thought on “Karma Be Knowin’: Why I Hate the Phrase “Be Grateful”

  1. I love this post! You hit the nail right on the head without sounding like a complete brat. I am the same way. I love what I have but I know I can do better and that knowledge is what drives me to push for the things I want. I refuse to settle just because that is what I can get my hands on right this second. I’ll do without until I can have what I want. You’re absolutely right, there is NOTHING wrong with wanting better for yourself. Especially when you can earn it on your own.


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