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Gratitude journal
Three good things

Aug 20, 2020 | Gratitude

Wicked World Syndrome

The ‘wicked world syndrome’ is where we see so much suffering and evil around us
that we begin to believe, wrongly, that happiness is not possible.

Philosophers are inclined to deny the possibility of happiness, citing the world and mankind as being fundamentally evil. Taking the logic to the next stage, they argue that any act of compassion, kindness or generosity is motivated by a negative and self-serving influence.

Martin Seligman, who is influential in the field of positive psychology, provides a welcome alternative, arguing that “there is not a shred of evidence that strength and virtue are derived from negative motivation”.

Adherence to the ‘fundamentally evil’ school leads to the ‘wicked world syndrome’, where we see so much suffering and evil around us that we begin to believe happiness is not possible.

It only needs one good thing to give the lie to this argument and this is one of the best reason for recording good things. If there is one good thing in our world, just one thing to be grateful for, it becomes impossible to argue that humanity is essentially corrupt, pessimistic and incapable of happiness.

(Inspired by Matthieu Ricard’s guide to developing happiness, life’s most important skill.)

A Gratitude Journal is just a simple way of
recording and appreciating the good things in life.

Research shows that keeping a gratitude journal leads to
higher levels of alertness, happiness and positive emotions as well as
a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure and better sleep.

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