chownah wrote: ↑
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:58 am
I'm wondering if generosity has gratitude as its cause.....any thoughts on this?
My immediate thought is that if one has gratitude then a gift might be offered out of generosity if gratitude does indeed stimulate generosity.
I'm still trying to get at the idea of suffering leading to gratitude and right view leading to gratitude which is what was originally sought in this thread.
I would not reduce it only to generosity, but i think there is indeed an interrelationship between generosity and gratitude. The economist Adam Smith suggested that one way to encourage generosity in the rich is to give them status and honor. Our obsession with "coarse power" might make it appear as if it is "one way traffic" where the well off have the obligation to contribute to society and overlooking the "soft power" those at the receiving end possess.
I think another cause for the sense of entitlement and lack of gratitude is fixation based on ignorance:
1- Ignoring the interchangeable relationship between the good and the bad (impermanence" which results in judging events by their immediate results rather than the long term well-being of human beings
2- Reducing what is good to feelings of pleasure and what is bad to feeling of stress or pain.
Through being aware, one can discern that we have the tendency to jump into unwarranted conclusions about what is good and what is bad which makes us selective (feeling entitled). One might think, through his fixation, that having a woman he is infatuated with will bring him happiness, but down the road, he might find that it was a cause of misery. On the contrary, one might have an experience where the immediate results are difficult, but could be a turning point towards long term well-being.
In my opinion, non selectivity helps one to see things as they are and vice versa. This is why monks are not encouraged to be selective when they go for alms, and even if they want to be selective, they might choose to go against the grain for their own benefit and the benefits of those who give. The example of Ven. Maha Kassapa comes to mind here.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
This was the last word of the Tathagata.