Life sans gratitude

Despite the material riches, humankind appears to be alienated and ungrateful

Ali Hassan Bangwar July 26, 2021
The writer is a freelancer based in Kandhkot, Sindh. He can be reached at [email protected]

Modern life is quite resourceful. The prosperity humankind once dreamt of is an inextricable reality today. Nevertheless, despite the material riches, humankind appears to be alienated and ungrateful today. The charisma and glamour of life is dwindling with the passage of time. Life seems to be missing the real soul, spirit and agility.

Almost every one we interact with in our daily lives has a disturbing story to tell and a list of grievances against life that makes them deem it unworthy. The prized treasure of life has taken on the shape of a liability, and an expensive present to be tamed and sustained.

Instead of paying our gratitude to the beauty and blessings of life; fears, failures and frustration are becoming the defining features for a large segment of our world. The scope and space for human emotions and inbuilt features of empathy, morality and altruism are in decay in one’s cognition and behaviour. We aren’t living our lives. We aren’t making the most of it. We aren’t making it worth living. We are thanklessly driving it to an unknown trip.

We are living fears and failures. We are living desperation, depression, guilt, and selfishness. We are with a false sense of greatness and are entangled in past tragedies and uncertain futures.

For most, life is but a tragedy. For others, it is a debt too costly to afford. Rather than wearing a smile, the faces and gestures of most of us appear remorseful and guilty. Complains, regrets, ruptured relations and fractured kinship are the new normal. Demotivated and pessimistic attitudes are the novel defining attributes of contemporary times. Discouragement, destructive criticism and various retrogressive trends are fast becoming part of today’s life.

Nonetheless, there’s a sizable number of people who do not only appreciate life but also make the most of it. They are preoccupied with gratitude and hardly find any reason to complain or be ungrateful to life. Such people bring hope that life’s appeal can be restored and its lost charm regained by doing or undoing some of our thoughts and affairs.

One might ask: how can one be able to build a life worthy of living and celebration? In the mad race for materialism and material possessions lies the answer. Amid the fierce competition of accumulating riches, we have lost the real worth of what life has bestowed us. By overestimating the significance of material abundance, we have failed to appreciate the worth of life. Being preoccupied with materialistic tendencies, we failed to acknowledge that life is a one-time project. Henceforth, as of today, life seems to many the most undervalued offering.

What can be done to bring back the waning appeal? Firstly, we need to recognise that life has no substitute and nothing can match its worth. It’s a gift one is bestowed with but for once.

Secondly, we need to decelerate the excessively mad race of materialism which has overshadowed the inherent worth of life.

Thirdly and more importantly, we would end in appreciating and paying gratitude to life if we dedicate it to the service of the underprivileged, the destitute.

Lastly, since a fast-paced life barely leaves space and time to pause, ponder and reflect on the merits and allure of life, we need to realise that the material possessions we collect aren’t indispensably interwoven to life. If there is life, only then there is the utility of the possessions. Henceforth, we shouldn’t engage exclusively to material projects at the utter disregard of the merits of life.

Pausing for a while from the otherwise self-interest would, for sure, help bolster the worth of life and go a long way in doing away with the regrets, grudges and guilt we hold for life.


Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2021.

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