The Giving of Gratitude

Psychologists have been studying gratitude and its effects on those of us who feel it and then go on to express it. And these researchers are finding that an attitude of gratitude leads to a greater satisfaction with life and to kinder behaviour toward others. That's not to diminish the value of outrage. Outrage can change the world. And no one is saying gratitude can change the world, but perhaps it can grease the cogs and gears in such a way as to make everything turn a little more smoothly.

Today's guest host was Jim Brown in Calgary.

Part One of The Current


It's Friday, December 23rd.

Scientists warn 90 percent of the world's supply of frankincense could be gone in 50 years.

Currently, I guess some seriously unwise men are to blame.

This is The Current.

The Giving of Gratitude

It's the time of year many of us especially agree with Bob Marley and are grateful for what we have; for health, for friends, for family. But we may want to be grateful for one more thing -- gratitude itself.

Our first guest believes the more gratitude you can wring out of the season the better -- both for yourself and everybody else. David DeSteno is associate professor of psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, and one of a group of scientists in a growing sub-field of psychology called "positive psychology". His book is called, Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us. He was in Boston.

The Giving of Gratitude

Well Sarah Ban Breathnach might be the godmother of gratitude. Her 1995 self-help book Simple Abundance was an Oprah Winfrey show fixture and it sold 7 million copies. It encourages people to keep a gratitude journal... something she came up with in the mid-90s, during a difficult time in her life.

Our next guest isn't so sure that's the best road to happiness. You can probably gather that from the title of her book. Julie Norem is the author of The Positive Power of Negative Thinking. She's professor of psychology at Wellesley College and she was in Wellesley, Massachusetts this morning.

Before we ended this segment, we wanted to share some thoughts on gratitude from shoppers at a mall in Toronto.

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