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The Case for “Radical Gratitude”
Practicing appreciation for people, organizations, and countries you are told to hate will level up your ability to see the world more clearly (and appreciate the miracle of being alive)
As I watched the sun rise this morning, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for this thing we call life.
We live in an epic time of change, chaos, and opportunity.
On the note of gratitude, I want to delve into a topic that's been resonating with me of late: the power of what I call “radical gratitude”.
In a time when hate and fear are so prevalent, when the voices that ring loudest seem to incite violence and discord, embracing gratitude may seem, to some, an act of rebellion. Yet, it's a rebellion worth pursuing.
In the midst of global challenges, I've been mulling over the power of gratitude and an enduring love for humanity in all its eccentricities. It feels revolutionary, especially in a world that often seems on the brink of war and collapse.
It might seem unusual to some, but I find it perfectly reasonable to appreciate both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and independent thinkers like Andrew Yang. Each of these groups has imparted invaluable lessons that have helped me grow.
I believe it's not outlandish to love not just the United States of America, but also Africa, South America, Central America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, China and every corner of our diverse globe. This love doesn't necessitate turning a blind eye to the problems that plague these regions, but rather invites an appreciation of their unique cultures, histories, and contributions.
Similarly, in the realm of technology, I see no contradiction in admiring the capabilities of Bitcoin and Ethereum, while also appreciating emerging chains like Solana and the Cosmos ecosystem. Equally, I find no paradox in cherishing both decentralized funding mechanisms and the significant donations made by large foundations towards groundbreaking scientific research and other public goods.
Whether it's startups or big tech companies, I believe it's possible to value both for the unique benefits they bring to the table. I feel a deep appreciation for what innovators like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have contributed to the world, even while acknowledging that criticism of their methods or decisions can be valid.
In terms of media, there's no contradiction in admiring independent political shows like "Breaking Points" while also appreciating the insights mainstream media provide. Even in the world of social media, there's room to love the ubiquity and utility of platforms like TikTok and YouTube, while also appreciating the innovation and niche communities nurtured by decentralized social media startups.
In the realm of music, sports, and religion, the same principle applies. It's not crazy to love basketball and pickleball, country music and Amapiano, Christianity and Buddhism. All these diverse areas enrich our lives in different ways, opening us up to new perspectives and experiences.
Appreciation should not be limited by convention. It's possible to value the role of the existing banking system while also supporting the unbanked movement and the financial sovereignty promised by the crypto revolution.
It's not crazy to appreciate the contributions of both religious leaders and vocal atheists like Richard Dawkins. Even in the realm of diet, one can appreciate the ethical stance of veganism while understanding the perspectives of carnivores.
The world of software provides another example. Open source software has undoubtedly transformed our world, but that doesn't diminish the value and utility of proprietary software, which has driven significant capital formation and enabled a level of coordination that might not have been possible otherwise.
Finally, we should celebrate the diversity of organizational structures that exist in our world: small cooperatives, mega corporations, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), and unincorporated movements. Each has its place and each brings something valuable to the table.
In essence, what I've been exploring is a form of radical gratitude, one that encourages us to see the world with clear and open eyes. It's important to remember that very few things are purely good or purely evil. In fact, understanding the role that different people, organizations, and countries play in the world allows us to see things in a more nuanced light. This clarity, in turn, enables us to better appreciate the various contributions that diverse groups and individuals bring to the table.
This practice of radical gratitude encourages us to step back from the brink of division, to see beyond the binary of 'us' and 'them'. Instead, it opens us up to a broader perspective that acknowledges the complex tapestry of human existence. It invites us to celebrate diversity, to learn from differing viewpoints, and to find common ground amidst apparent contradictions.
Embracing gratitude in this way also fosters empathy and understanding. It allows us to appreciate the shared humanity that connects us all, regardless of our political beliefs, nationalities, or cultural backgrounds. It reminds us that, despite our differences, we are all part of the same global community.
In the end, the power of gratitude lies not just in its ability to make us feel happier and more content, but also in its potential to bridge divides, foster understanding, and bring people together.
So, in these troubled times, I encourage you all to practice this radical form of gratitude. Look beyond the surface, celebrate diversity, appreciate the different perspectives people bring, and above all, love humanity in all its vibrant, messy, and beautiful complexity.
To be clear, my exploration into the power of gratitude is far from complete. As I continue on this journey, I invite you to join me. Let's challenge ourselves to see the world through a lens of gratitude and love. After all, in an increasingly divided world, a little bit of gratitude can be revolutionary.
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