1949. Pity and Gratitude: Mortal Enemies


We have been blessed by Her Highness Heather at 1384. She beautifully clanged the pity bell, which enables me to ring the gratitude bell. Pity easily conquers women unless they fight back with the proper antidote, gratefulness. Thanks to Heather’s clear descriptions, many women may benefit because they are caught in similar situations.

As with all of us, a person’s attitude reflects their heart and self-pity gains prominence or dominance in the absence of gratefulness. If women are not grateful enough, they’re not happy enough. They look to blame others, which is quite natural but also the root of pity.

Whether you are an interested reader or buried in self-pity, please don’t take offense. It will only stall initiative to squelch the pitiful side of life with newfound gratitude.

I analyze the lady’s wonderfully descriptive comment as if gratitude is lacking in the heart of every woman, because it usually is to some extent or another. Her entire comment is broken and quoted in lower case; my response is bolded and bracketed.

  • “Not having extended family is a huge problem today.” [You’re not grateful for what you do have? You generated a nice home and family. Can it not be made to be enough? As mother you are capable and able to make the world a better place with home-schooled children. Can mothers do better? As wife you are capable and able to keep husband’s nose to the grindstone of earning a living and remaining responsible for his family. Can you do better without him?]
  • “My husband simply drives around listening to sermons and takes customers out to lunch for his job.” [Does listening to sermons improve or worsen his living a dedicated Christian life? You have time to diagnosis your problems and what’s wrong with your life. Are you stuck on that? Does it creep over into envy or jealousy for what he does daily instead of what he does long range to brighten the economic future for you, home, kids, and marital relationship? If you have time for those negative thoughts, can you convert them into positives?]
  • “I am home schooling four children.” [Congratulations. How can you have the heart to continue, if you’re not grateful for the sterling characters you’re building into an extended family with you as future matriarch?]
  • “He knows his job is so much easier than mine.” [Yes, easier because of experience, ambition, and gender attributes. Knowing he has the easier job compliments you with his gratefulness. You wouldn’t like it if he did your job and thus took yours away, right? Can you find gratitude in NOT having to do his job?]
  • “I cannot be a good wife or mother without time to myself.” [Sure you can. You already are. How did you get where you’re at, if you aren’t both good wife and good mother? You found time to find pity. Can you find time to find gratitude?]
  • “I consider time to myself to be cleaning without the children. I can’t even imagine having time for friends or reading a book or taking a bath without one of the children in it.” [I can’t tell you but you can figure out how to gain the private time you desire. You need only adopt one new habit. It will enable you to generate both imagination and time for yourself. I describe it below.]
  • “Modern society has left women alone with only their inadequate husbands to turn to.” [If husband is inadequate, wife is usually responsible. She either married the wrong man, or the atmosphere she generates in home and relationship induces him to change in ways that make her ungrateful.]
  • “Men just can’t run a house for even an hour like a woman can.” [Exactly, just as God designed, Nature endowed, and hormones continue to energize the sexes as distinctly different. A man’s sense of responsibility is broad enough to care for family. A woman’s sense of responsibility is specific enough to handle the details by squeezing in touches of female devotion here, there, and everywhere.]

The “fix” for all of your problems lies in one word—gratefulness. First, grateful for yourself. Second, grateful for your husband. Third, grateful for your children. Fourth, grateful for the life husband and children (and God if you are a believer) provide you.

If you expand your gratefulness in yourself, it will enable you to find gratitude both for the others and provide a more self-charmed life. It may sound too simple, but resolution requires renewed dedication to yourself. I suggest you adopt the practice, develop the habit, and make the most of this process:

  • Commit to letting the following determine your bedtime. Arise each morning before everyone else and sit in front of a big mirror for 30 minutes. Demand that everyone honor your privacy and do so without complaint. Dedicate the first 30 minutes of your day to you talking to the mirror and generating your own feedback.
  • Study yourself in ways you haven’t for a long time. Fix up, plan to fix up, and otherwise make improvements on everything you see in head and body. Every little improvement brings gratitude, so enable yourself to find new ways of improving your appearance. If you see need for a professional makeover, get it, but don’t give up your 30 minutes every day. Make it a lifetime habit, because it’s the tap root of happiness.
  • Details are spread through other blog articles, particularly those cited in 1440 and the subject expands at 1721.

And you say: The price is too great! And I say: The consequence of pity is unhappiness. Pity and gratitude are mortal enemies. They can’t co-exist; pity kills happy.

5 Comments

Filed under The mind

5 responses to “1949. Pity and Gratitude: Mortal Enemies

  1. surfercajun

    My prayers include always have a grateful heart. As you can tell, I am still a work in progress! :)

  2. Still Learning...

    Thank you, Sir Guy, this is one of your best posts. It really opened my eyes…it’s something I realize I need to work on alot more.

  3. Tica

    And WOW did I need this right this very second! I express my gratefulness for you, Sir Guy!

  4. Maria

    Everything you say is true, here. I used to be FILLED with self-pity, a trait I think my mother taught me. It’s a wonder that it did not destroy my marriage entirely. Once I began to find gratitude, I began to find real love for my husband, and for myself. Life has gotten a thousand times easier. I would have laughed at you back then if you had told me it was my own fault, but now I see clearly that it certainly was. And making myself pretty as a habit does help enormously. There is no emotion that is more worthless and counter-productive than self-pity.

  5. Maria

    I should add to my last comment that I am, like Heather, homeschooling four children, or I guess two of four since my oldest is only 7. I rarely get a bath alone. I rarely get time with friends and I never get time to clean without kids around! I understand! My husband only helps by taking out the trash, and that is absolutely all that he does around here on a regular basis. Today he changed a light bulb and I was shocked and delighted (but I didn’t show it, as that would have come off as an insult to him; I just let it fill me with more gratitude to use for him later)!
    My extended family does not help much at all, and I agree with Heather here- that in this way, our feminist society has left the young mother abandoned. It’s wrong that we don’t get more help from our families. Still, it can be done without them, and letting it affect your attitude is a mistake in every way. Furthermore, saying a husband who provides so you can be home with your precious children is “inadequate” is unfair. He’s not made to do what a woman can, and if he is working and you are at home, he is certainly adequate, and many women would be grateful to have what you have and gladly take your place.
    I feel like a worker bee, humble and very, very busy. I am not humiliated by my smallness anymore, as I used to be, due to the feminist mindset that dominates our culture. I’ve learned how valuable my role is in my husband’s life. Creating a happy home for him has made it possible for him to make much more money than he used to, which has made my life much easier in ways. If it wasn’t more money, it would be some other reward that would improve my life. He would find a way to repay me. His conscience (which I used to think was non-existent) would never rest if he did not. We are both becoming more respectful of each other, and more grateful for each other, as times goes on, and it all started with my attitude change, and only progresses so far as I do in gratitude.

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