Happy Twentieth! Epicurus on Gratitude

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Epicurean Philosophy group had an interesting conversation about gratitude, and I felt it would be helpful to students of Epicurus if I shared some of the quotes and comments from it.

I think it’s pretty clear that gratitude fits easily into the overall scheme of doing what it takes to live happily. Normal people don’t do things for other people unless the people we do them for show some degree of gratitude for what we do. So gratitude is a reinforcing behavior that is necessary if we’re going to be as successful as possible in our dealing with other people and their dealings with us. Just like any other “virtue” the goal of gratitude and any other activity is to live happily. And in addition to the examples mentioned, there are other examples – especially the devotion (gratitude) that Epicurus showed toward his mother. – Cassius, from New Epicurean

He alone will feel gratitude towards friends, present and absent alike, and show it by word and deed. – Epicurus, concerning the wise man in Laertius 117

Praise be to blessed Nature: she has made what is necessary easy to get, and what is not easy to get unnecessary. – Epicurean Fragment 469, Monadnock translation

The thankless nature of the soul makes the creature endlessly greedy for variations in its lifestyle. – Vatican Saying 69

Gratitude is necessary to internalize Epicurean doctrine, and in fact a person who is ungrateful ***can_not_profit*** from this teaching. Gratitude is a basic human value that serves to help us fully accept the natural limits of our desires and pleasures, which is essential to Epicurean ethics and to our ability to live a life of pleasure.

About hiramcrespo

Hiram Crespo is the author of 'Tending the Epicurean Garden' (Humanist Press, 2014), 'How to Live a Good Life' (Penguin Random House, 2020), and Epicurus of Samos – His Philosophy and Life: All the principal Classical texts Compiled and Introduced by Hiram Crespo (Ukemi Audiobooks, 2020). He's the founder of societyofepicurus.com, and has written for The Humanist, Eidolon, Occupy, The New Humanism, The Secular Web, Europa Laica, AteístasPR, and many other outlets.
This entry was posted in Epicurus and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Happy Twentieth! Epicurus on Gratitude

  1. Pingback: Lecturas para comenzar el Miércoles 21 de diciembre de 2016

  2. Pingback: Happy Twentieth: the Epicureans and the Original Jedi | The Autarkist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s