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Q: Why should I express my appreciation if I don’t feel it?

Thank you photo
Photo by Alexas Fotos / Unsplash.

A: Buddhism emphasizes that through expressing gratitude, we reveal and develop our humanity. Neglecting to show appreciation reflects a life influenced by fundamental ignorance—the inability to recognize the enlightened nature in ourselves and others. Ikeda Sensei states:

As we each deepen our faith in the Mystic Law, break through our fundamental darkness and live true to our greater self, we will come to feel boundless appreciation for all those around us and for all who have nurtured and helped us become who we are. …

In contrast, those who fail to refresh their faith, who give in to negativity and are shackled by attachments to the lesser self invariably become ruled by arrogance, cowardice or anger. As they descend, their ability to appreciate the goodness of others wanes until, eventually, they neither recognize nor repay the kindnesses others have done for them. (The Hope-filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 222)

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

Developing a Big Heart

Pinnacles National Park, California