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The Science of Thanks Giving

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the thank-you-science dept.

Medicine 55

Hugh Pickens writes "This is Americans' big week to give thanks. Now Russell McLendon writes that giving thanks can do wonders for the human brain according to researchers at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center where scientists have developed an easy way for people to do just that and, at the same time, contribute to a national research project and maybe also improve their lives. The project is part of a $5.6 million, three-year national effort called 'Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude,' funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The center has gone live with Thnx4.org, an interactive, shareable gratitude journal and has invited people in the campus community to take part in the Cal Gratitude Challenge by keeping a two-week online 'gratitude journal' and, if they choose, sharing their posts with others. Early research into the power of gratitude journals ended up proving that students who wrote down everything they were grateful for strengthened their overall resilience and became less vulnerable to everyday stresses and complaints like rashes and headaches, says Emiliana Simon-Thomas. 'Thnx4.org wanted to make this spiral notebook very accessible, and to make the research a little more specific than it has been historically,' says Simon-Thomas. Online, anyone can take part — and potentially reap the benefits. The Cal Gratitude Challenge opened November 1 and will remain open throughout November but the project has a three-year grant and participants will be able to maintain their journals for the duration and first results from the data are expected in January. 'We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we've received,' writes Robert Emmons as part of the project. 'This doesn't mean that life is perfect; it doesn't ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.'"

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A few nice words (3, Informative)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065459)

A few nice words can go a long way. Appreciation is important

Re:A few nice words (2)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065573)

A few nice words can go a long way. Appreciation is important

That was a very post, thank you for it.

Re:A few nice words (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065587)

A few nice words can go a long way. Appreciation is important

That was a very post, thank you for it.

It very was a post indeed.

Re:A few nice words (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#42066087)

Your feed back is appreciated. Do we have to enter an infinite feedback loop now?

Re:A few nice words (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#42066667)

Thank you for this nice, well-written post.

Re:A few nice words (1)

WhatAreYouDoingHere (2458602) | more than 2 years ago | (#42070715)

10 print "thank you for your input. i will take this suggestion under consideration."
20 goto 10

Re:A few nice words (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065627)

A few nice words can go a long way. Appreciation is important

I try to maintain a policy of: Don't let a day go by without thanking someone who's doing a thankless task.

Re:A few nice words (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | more than 2 years ago | (#42066333)

A few nice words can go a long way. Appreciation is important

I try to maintain a policy of: Don't let a day go by without thanking someone who's doing a thankless task.

In that case... Thank You, Slashdot Editors!!!

Re:A few nice words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42068301)

Except Americans aren't thanking each other and appreciating each other. They're sitting around football and a bunch of food, thanking baby jebus.

I'm truly thankful... (2)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065497)

for posts like this that give me tips on how to feel better about myself and my life. And for *anything* that reminds me of all I have to be grateful for, because I find it far too easy to forget.

Re:I'm truly thankful... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065619)

for posts like this that give me tips on how to feel better about myself and my life. And for *anything* that reminds me of all I have to be grateful for, because I find it far too easy to forget.

For the overwhelming majority of us, no matter how bad we think things are, there are others who have it far, far, worse. That's something you can be grateful for even when you're having trouble keeping your chin up.

Re:I'm truly thankful... (3, Interesting)

SternisheFan (2529412) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065679)

Reason to be grateful #3618:

I've read somewhere that if all you had to eat today was a (regular size) can of beans, then you have eaten better than more than half the world's population.

Re:I'm truly thankful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42070115)

Hmm, for me one of the most distressing things about being alive is seeing really bad things happen to people I care about (including people I don't know personally) - and being totally helpless to actually do anything to change that. So being reminded that lots of other people don't even have enough to eat doesn't really make me feel any better. Now, if I could somehow lift up everyone who ha less than me to the same standard of living that I have then I really could feel happy. But instead it seems that those with power use that power to enrich themselves for beyond anything that is reasonable - at the expense of so many others who are in such desperate circumstances - while I am helpless to intervene.

I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42065515)

I thought Thanksgiving was a code word for "take a couple of days off and eat too much in preparation for the Christmas holidays where I'll be required to take some days off and eat too much".

Express gratitude the Thanksgiving way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42065519)

by slaughtering most of the locals and herding the survivors onto reservations.

Re:Express gratitude the Thanksgiving way (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065857)

Where are you from? Because regardless of where that is, you have a history of doing the same thing if you you go back far enough.

The photo of that painting - first link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42065521)

The photo of that painting of the "Frist Thanksgiving" really creeped me out. Aside from most of the Indians sitting as a group off to the side like they're about to be all shot or marched "to better land", the PIlgrims justmake my skin crawl.

I guess it's the history of what follows next and current Christian fundamentalism in the US that really tainting my perception.

Re:The photo of that painting - first link (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065753)

Give thanks that you're not subject to that same treatment?

Re:The photo of that painting - first link (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065845)

First, it's a painting. I know you probably have never been exposed to those before. They proceeded digital cameras and 3D cinema by many hundreds of years. You can find more in museums if you want to learn more about them.

Second, the mistreatment of the American Natives is a sad and terrible chapter in American History. But it is by no means unique to America and was mostly an expression of political policy rather than Christian ideology. They had the land and the politicians wanted it.

The saddest thing is that even today the American Natives are still mistreated by being completely subjugated to the Federal government in the sense that they have to rely on the Feds for everything. The ultimate expression of welfare state you might say.

Only recently have some tribes begun to regain their dignity and increase their standard of living by hosting casinos on their land...something the feds and local government fought against mightily. The arrangement with the Casino operators is not optimal, but each renegotiation results in better and better terms for the tribes as they become more business savvy. Of course, now the tribes have to deal with internal corruption to some degree, but...hey, welcome to the world.

Re:The photo of that painting - first link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42065891)

btw - preceded, not proceded. :-)

Re:The photo of that painting - first link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42066147)

Yeah...it's early.

But duly noted.

And Thanks!

Re:The photo of that painting - first link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42066375)

Reflecting on your post, as a race, we've come pretty far in recognizing that all us humans are pretty much the same all over the world. Racism and intolerance still exists, though not as much as in our (even recent) past.

BTW, I'm thankful that I'm a big enough (& humble too!) person who would like to apologize publicly to you for my nitpicking. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Sir!

Happy Thanksgiving (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42065531)

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!!

Shame on America and it's Citizens (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42065555)

Days like this instead of celebrating what you have maybe you should take a turn to say sorry to all those lives that you ruined with your campaigns around the world. You are all fat enough already why not send that food to a country that doesn't have as much and you people enjoy a glass of water and walk after your apology.

Re:Shame on America and it's Citizens (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065785)

We send a TON of food to other countries. What happens to it?

It sits and rots on the docks
It is hijacked locally and sold on the black market
It is hijacked by the state and sold on the world market

In other words, it falls victim to the very same people/systems that makes and keeps the people of those nations poor and hungry in the first at place. Corruption on a massive scale, violence and anarchy.

So GTF off your high horse because no matter how you look at it, it is almost a sure thing that America sends more food overseas [foodaid.org] than does your country

Re:Shame on America and it's Citizens (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#42066189)

Agree with everything you say, but also recognise the vast bulk gets to where it is needed.

Re:Shame on America and it's Citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42066159)

... You are all fat enough already why not send that food to a country that doesn't have as much and you people enjoy a glass of water and walk after your apology.

No one is beyond constructive criticism, the U.S. being no exception. However, are you one of the bigoted culturalists in denial living off of your peoples's misery having a personal interest in maintaining the big lie? Are your parents part of your country's ruling class? It's implied in your last sentence which is classic caste crap.

Thankful loop (2)

kubajz (964091) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065557)

I am thankful that being thankful makes me more thankful. Wait, could I get into an endless happy feedback loop?

I am feeling very grateful that (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065599)

I am feeling very grateful that I don't have such a myopic world-view that I believe that everyone participates in the same cultural festivals as I do.-- ~~~~

Re:I am feeling very grateful that (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065657)

I am feeling very grateful that I don't have such a myopic world-view that I believe that everyone participates in the same cultural festivals as I do.-- ~~~~

I just wonder whether the High Priest of the Pastafarians pardoned a pan of pasta for today.

Re:I am feeling very grateful that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42065945)

No pardoning is necessary - the FSM giveth of himself for your comsumption.

Re:I am feeling very grateful that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42065669)

I'm thankful that not all eurotrash feels the need to run their mouths like you do

Re:I am feeling very grateful that (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065759)

I've given thanks for biergartens in Germany many times!

Re:I am feeling very grateful that (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065843)

I've given thanks for biergartens in Germany many times!

Ah but did you wear chamois leather shorts and slap your thighs!

Re:I am feeling very grateful that (2)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 2 years ago | (#42068433)

It's not myopic to give thanks, whether to God or to your neighbors and friends or even just to those who've been kind to you. The concept of giving thanks knows no cultural boundaries and it's an essential part of what it means to be a decent human being. You should try it sometime.

Blessing your food... (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065623)

So people feel better about themselves when they say thanks? Perhaps this is part of the reason why so many religions have special prayers before / after meals.

its real simple.... (2)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065633)

... you eat....

Science and Spiritual Things (2)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065713)

Every now and then Science stumbles across something that people who deal work in matters of the spirit have known for a long time.

Re:Science and Spiritual Things (2)

HnT (306652) | more than 2 years ago | (#42066121)

There is a HUGE difference between unconsciously and unquestioningly applying whatever religious rituals were passed down to you and discovering the psychological science behind or at least scientific proof for what is actually going on. For example, the latter is typically far less connected to centuries of cruelties against people who happen to follow different rituals.

Re:Science and Spiritual Things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42069565)

Science performs it's own cruelties against those it deems to be "not worthy".

More recent examples would be Josef Mengele's little science setup. And if you don't think it was Science, keep in mind that his research on how the human body reacts to extreme cold well documented and accurate. We had to replicate the results with volunteers and much more time to avoid using his research. Then there was the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Yeah...Science all the way there. They did again in Guatemala [msn.com]

Now, sure, Science didn't do this. But neither did Religion. Men did this under the color of Religion and Science.

So before you go around condemning people, you'd better look at yourself first.

Re:Science and Spiritual Things (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#42066655)

I doubt that keeping a journal "strengthened their overall resilience and (made them) became less vulnerable to everyday stresses and complaints like rashes and headaches" - in fact I doubt there was any physical effect whatsoever. Any positive results will be down to carefully worded questions framed to elicit a desired response. If anything this is testimony to the effectiveness of research, most notably in the softer "sciences", in being able to achieve whatever results you feel biased towards.

Ask these self-same campus community member to keep their on-line journals for three months. Note the results in an unbiased manner. Leave them alone for a year then kill and dissect them in order to conduct a real scientific investigation. I guarantee none of them will have maintained their auras of optimism.

Re:Science and Spiritual Things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42066889)

A broken clock gives the right time twice a day.

Re:Science and Spiritual Things (1)

WhatAreYouDoingHere (2458602) | more than 2 years ago | (#42070739)

Are you sure? When my clock broke, the numbers wouldn't light up at all.

amen (1)

jnowlan (618290) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065801)

to that

Give Thanks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42065803)

Thanksgiving isn't about giving thanks - it's about eating lots of food and buying stuff.

Only For Americans? (1)

mlauzon (818714) | more than 2 years ago | (#42065865)

Is this only for Americans, because we Canadians -- from the TRUE Land of the Free & the REAL Home of the Brave -- had Thanksgiving in early October..?!

Re:Only For Americans? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#42066047)

Hello. You must be new here... let me introduce you to the conservative party of Canada.

"free and brave"... hah. if only.

fuck that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42066081)

I didn't choose to be born and I didn't choose the physical laws on which our world depends.

I exist, but I sure don't thank anything or anyone for it.

The article is basically saying, "Idiots with low standards are more likely to feel content." Well duh.

Also I'm not a yank so I don't celebrate the mass slaughter of natives with the mass slaughter of sitting ducks.

Re: From Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42066989)

Thanksgiving History Close this section Observance in North America Other observances known as Thanksgiving See also References Sources External links Read in another language For other uses, see Thanksgiving (disambiguation). Thanksgiving Day Saying grace before carving a turkey at Thanksgiving dinner, Pennsylvania, U.S., 1942 Observed by United States Canada Liberia Puerto Rico Norfolk Island Type National, cultural Date 2nd Monday in October (Canada) 1st Thursday in November (Liberia) Last Wednesday in November (Norfolk Island) 4th Thursday in November (USA) 2012 date October 8, 2012 (Canada); November 1, 2012 (Liberia); November 28, 2012 (Norfolk Island); November 22, 2012 (USA) 2013 date October 14, 2013 (Canada); November 7, 2013 (Liberia); November 27, 2013 (Norfolk Island); November 28, 2013 (USA, Puerto Rico) Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. Because of the longstanding traditions of the holiday, the celebration often extends to the weekend that falls closest to the day it is celebrated. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious traditions, but today is celebrated in a more secular manner. Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. [1] The holiday's history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date of the holiday [1][2] In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious services became important during the English Reformation in the reign of Henry VIII and in reaction to the large number of religious holidays on the Catholic calendar. Before 1536 there were 95 Church holidays, plus 52 Sundays, when people were required to attend church and forego work and sometimes pay for expensive celebrations. The 1536 reforms reduced the number of Church holidays to 27, but some Puritans, the radical reformers of their age, wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays, including Christmas and Easter. The holidays were to be replaced by specially called Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving, in response to events that the Puritans viewed as acts of special providence. Unexpected disasters or threats of judgement from on high called for Days of Fasting. Special blessings, viewed as coming from God, called for Days of Thanksgiving. For example, Days of Fasting were called on account of drought in 1611, floods in 1613, and plague in 1604 and 1622. Days of Thanksgiving were called following the victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588, and following the deliverance of Queen Anne in 1705. An unusual annual Day of Thanksgiving began in 1606 following the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, and developed into Guy Fawkes Day. [3] In Canada Main article: Thanksgiving (Canada) "There is no compelling narrative of the origins of the Canadian Thanksgiving day." [4] Though there were no permanent English settlements in Canada until the early eighteenth century, the origin of the first Canadian Thanksgiving is often traced back to 1578 and the explorer Martin Frobisher who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean. Frobisher's Thanksgiving celebration was not for harvest but was in thanks for surviving the long journey from England through the perils of storms and icebergs. On his third and final voyage to the far north, Frobisher held a formal ceremony in Frobisher Bay in Baffin Island (present-day Nunavut) to give thanks to God and in a service ministered by the preacher Robert Wolfall they celebrated Communion. [5] Oven roasted turkey The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are also sometimes traced to the French settlers who came to New France with explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who celebrated their successful harvests. The French settlers in the area typically had feasts at the end of the harvest season and continued throughout the winter season, even sharing their food with the indigenous peoples of the area. [6] As settlers arrived in Canada from New England, late autumn Thanksgiving celebrations became common. New immigrants into the country, such as the Irish, Scottish and Germans, also added their own traditions to the harvest celebrations. Most of the U.S. aspects of Thanksgiving (such as the turkey or what were called guineafowls originating from Madagascar), were incorporated when United Empire Loyalists began to flee from the United States during the American Revolution and settled in Canada. [6] Thanksgiving is now a statutory holiday in most jurisdictions of Canada, with the Atlantic provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia being the exceptions. [7] In the United States Main article: Thanksgiving (United States) The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth By Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914) In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly, but not universally, traced to a poorly documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. In later years, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford who planned a thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. [8][9][10] The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s. [11] Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the "First Thanksgiving", including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631. [12][13] Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. During the revolutionary period, political influences affected the issuance of Thanksgiving proclamations. Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress, each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes. [14] As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God". [15] According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden. [16] Every year, the President of the United States will "pardon" a turkey, which spares the bird's life and ensures that it will spend the duration of its life roaming freely on farmland. [17] Debate about first celebrations The traditional representation of where the first Thanksgiving was held in the United States, and even the Americas, has often been a subject of boosterism and debate, though the debate is often confused by mixing up the ideas of a Thanksgiving holiday celebration and a Thanksgiving religious service. According to author James Baker, this debate is a "tempest in a beanpot" and "marvelous nonsense." [12] These claims include an earlier religious service by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario in 1598, as well as thanksgiving feasts in the Virginia Colony. [18] Robyn Gioia and Michael Gannon of the University of Florida argue that the earliest Thanksgiving service in what is now the United States was celebrated by the Spanish on September 8, 1565, in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida. [19][20] A day for Thanksgiving services was codified in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia in 1619. [21] According to Baker, "Historically, none of these had any influence over the evolution of our modern holiday. The American holiday's true origin was the New England Calvinist Thanksgiving. Never coupled with a Sabbath meeting, the Puritan observances were special days set aside during the week for thanksgiving and praise in response to God's providence." [12] Fixing the date of the holiday The reason for the earlier Thanksgiving celebrations in Canada has often been attributed to the earlier onset of winter in the north, thus ending the harvest season earlier. [22] Thanksgiving in Canada did not have a fixed date until the late 19th century. Prior to Canadian Confederation, many of the individual colonial governors of the Canadian provinces had declared their own days of Thanksgiving. The first official Canadian Thanksgiving occurred on April 15, 1872, when the nation was celebrating the Prince of Wales' recovery from a serious illness. [22] By the end of the 19th century, Thanksgiving Day was normally celebrated on November 6. However, when World War I ended, the Armistice Day holiday was usually held during the same week. To prevent the two holidays from clashing with one another, in 1957 the Canadian Parliament proclaimed Thanksgiving to be observed on its present date on the second Monday of October. [6] Since 1971, when the American Uniform Monday Holiday Act took effect, the American observance of Columbus Day has coincided with the Canadian observance of Thanksgiving. [23][24] Much as in Canada, Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various dates throughout history. From the time of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln, the date Thanksgiving was observed varied from state to state. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 19th century. Thanksgiving was first celebrated on the same date by all states in 1863 by a presidential proclamation of Abraham Lincoln. Influenced by the campaigning of author Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote letters to politicians for around 40 years trying to make it an official holiday, Lincoln proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November in an attempt to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states. [25] Because of the ongoing Civil War and the Confederate States of America's refusal to recognize Lincoln's authority, a nationwide Thanksgiving date was not realized until Reconstruction was completed in the 1870s. On December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday. Two years earlier, Roosevelt had used a presidential proclamation to try to achieve this change, reasoning that earlier celebration of the holiday would give the country an economic boost. “ Local boosters in Virginia, Florida, and Texas promote their own colonists, who (like many people getting off a boat) gave thanks for setting foot again on dry land. —Jeremy Bangs [16] ” http://www.google.com/#sclient=tablet-gws&hl=en&safe=off&tbo=d&site=&source=hp&q=meaning+of+thanksgiving&oq=meaning+of+t&gs_l=tablet-gws.1.0.0i3j0l2.5234.12213.0.24932.,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=32fea67d0014cee5&bpcl=38897761&biw=1067&bih=640 [google.com] Look, basically I think it all boils down to being grateful for what you have now (the good things/people in your life), and for your life itself. You, me and everyone else didn't "ask" to be born, yet..., here we are. So, since we are here, how should we spend our limited time? Bitchin' & moaning that life sucks? A waste of time, but spend it as you like. Think in the positive, and try to get Frickin' Grateful!!! Be well, signed, AC. ;)

Sure -- but does that bring great literature? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | more than 2 years ago | (#42066317)

There's such a thing as the 'reader' (the human-kind, I mean),
or in a broader sense, the 'consumer' (not meant in its commer-
cial sense).

There's some indication that gripes, cynicism, irony, angst and
all the nefarious psychological categories you can think of that
come with them -- put down in bytes, ink, celluloid or on stage,
provide for greater literature and entertainment.

Religion does the same thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42066477)

Whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc., the tenets of each teach about being grateful, humble, etc. - and the cited study shows it strengthens us.

In other words, if people were more religious in their everyday lives, and lived basic tenets like being grateful and humble, we'd be stronger societies/countries/cultures as a whole.

Of course this isn't a popular view to have these days, but it sounds like this study shows that religion can be a good thing. It's too bad people will simply excuse themselves from religious discipline by pointing a finger at child molesting priests, TV evangelist scumbags, Islamic terrorists, orthodox Jewish oddities, etc. because as more people dump on religion without question or serious contemplation, it ultimately weakens us.

Re:Religion does the same thing... (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#42066785)

The cited study shows nothing material. All religions are designed to make the common man accept that they should be humble and accept their position in life, so the rich can stay rich. I've no idea if there is a creator spirit or god, and have no interest in worshipping one even if there was. The concept is repugnant to me. But I will tell you this for 100% sure: every religion is a man-made thing designed to benefit one social group above a majority. If you don't believe this to be the case, ask yourself why none of the major deist religions encourage solo worship, instead preferring to herd their flocks together.

I don't understand your point about people dumping on religion. Shouldn't you just humbly accept that's how things are going to be and get on with it? Gods don't like it when you start going around expressing unapproved opinions. Bow your head, son, and whisper a little prayer of thanks. You did say that'd make you a better person, didn't you?

I prefer to keep my head unbowed, so I can look around me and see what's going on. I think that's the best way to be. You may not find that to be a very humble opinion and it isn't. It's my opinion and it's just plain better that yours.

Thanksgiving Turduckenen-duckenen (1)

gizmod (931775) | more than 2 years ago | (#42068523)

I'm grateful for people like Vi! Turduckenen-duckenen [youtube.com]
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