Gratitude is a quality of the heart in which we can spiritually grow, in every situation. But without gratitude, even in the most favourable situation, we cannot really progress.
Some people are ungrateful, no matter what. Even if you give them something wonderful, they want something more.
That is why while raising children, it’s not good to spoil them. When children are accustomed to getting whatever they want whenever they want, when they grow up, they are going to have the same conditioning. But the problem is, as an adult you do not get whatever you want whenever you want. And then there is anxiety; sometimes that is very difficult to overcome.
Without gratitude, you cannot be satisfied in the heart. Because whatever you get, you feel you deserve, and you want something more. And whatever you get, you feel it’s expected. “I should get this.” And when you don’t get what you want, you complain, and you blame others. “Why is the world agaist me?” Some people are never greatful.
And then there are those who are greatful when they get good things, but very much disturbed and bewildered when difficulties come in to their lives. But the universal principle of all spiritual paths and a very basic principle of the Sri Bhagavad Gita teaches that we should be greatful for whatever God gives us. The good things that come, we should feel, “I don’t deserve this. But I am so greatful.” Any little bit of kindness that a person shows us, we should be greatful. Any blessings we receive, we should be greatful. And the difficulties, the pains, the failures, if we can be greatful for those, we could learn, and we could grow through the experience; Otherwise we miss a precious chance. We could learn to come closer to god, we could learn to improve the quality of our own lives, to overcome the obstacles that are keeping me(us) back. But those lessons that the Lord is always speaking from within our own hearts can only be heard when there is gratitude.
– Radhanath Swami