Something Freely Given

On the Nature of Gratitude

The simple habit of saying “thank you,” and the notion of gratitude that underlies it, can be a key to understanding many of the basic assumptions, preferences, and needs of Western culture. Yet most people think surprisingly little about gratitude, unless they are in the middle of experiencing it intensely, or until they feel seriously hurt by other people's failure to be grateful when they should be.

We often express dismay at an apparent drop in the “standards” of gratitude in...

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About the Author

Margaret Visser is the author of several books, including The Way We Are and The Geometry of Love.