That’s a quote from a woman going by the (stage) name “Bridget Phetasy” — which she repeats time and again, mostly on podcasts she publishes.
I enjoy listening to her opinion. I especially enjoyed an episode she published (together with her husband) on the podcast named “Factory Settings” earlier this month — episode 10, titled “Gratitude”.
Bridget also mentioned that quote in this episode (@ ca. 19 min.), but that isn’t what intrigues me about the chat she had with her husband. I think the views I want to share here regarding the episode have a lot to do with some of the ideas I am puzzling over these days, but I recognized while listening that it is also very much tied up with issues discussed by Bridget and Jeren.
Personally, the way I think about gratitude right now is that when people feel grateful, they recognize that the world is ordered in a particular way … and they are happy that according to the way the world is ordered, they come out “on top”. Yet I also recognize that I am very aware of my view that the order of the world is actually quite arbitrary. I also can imagine a world which is ordered differently. Thus, “fair” and “unfair” are quite malleable. As Bridget and Jeren were closing their discussion, they touched on the topic of religion, and this seemed to be quite similar to my own thinking (perhaps especially because of my own fascination with Quakerism — insofar as [in many / most cases] Quakers also tend to be very welcoming to other points of view).
The result of my thinking along these lines may seem quite odd to many / most people — namely: that gratitude is not inherently good, but it almost seems simply opportunistic. To be grateful that you are not sick or poor or in any way not well off is actually in a way an ignorance of the notion that the cards could have been shuffled differently, or that the laws of nature could have resulted in a different world plan.
Today, it seems like humans dominate the world, and bugs, rats and snakes seem to have less esteemed reputations. What will happen when humans no longer exist? What will come out “on top” then?