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Syllabus: General Studies Essay Paper: Ethics





Joy is an expression of happiness, satisfaction, content, thankfulness & freedom.

Gratitude is the quality of being ready to appreciate and being thankful for the same.

We express our gratitude to others through showing them that we are happy by their act, gesture, helping attitude or other positive effort.  Ideally, joy is the simplest form of gratitude but practically we do not express joy as gratitude very easily. Factors like greed, jealousy, competition, ego, immaturity, selfishness are few of the villains in human life that do not let us express joy as gratitude easily.

The word Gratitude originates from the Latin word –‘Gratos’ which means pleasing or thankfulness. So, one should be thankful for the help done by others in one or other way. The secret of happy life lies in making others happy by our actions.


In Religion & Holy books:

The importance of giving has been also mentioned in holy book, ‘Bagavad Gita’. Gratitude originates the movement joy is produced. In different religion and scriptures the aim of life has been shown to express gratitude to God, this expression of gratitude is said to be important for getting happiness in life. In Bhagavad Gita, Khuran, Bible, God is thanked for giving us birth and helping to sail through the life. When the worshipper becomes overwhelmed with joy, his joy becomes the easiest way to express gratitude to god. Every religion teaches to imbibe the moral values values like helping others, having compassionate attitude for the underprivileged, fulfilling ones duty without expecting the good results. These values are aimed to bring the joy to the people, and gratitude is expressed by that joy.

In Teachings:

Swami Vivekananda also said,” Only those persons live who live for others, rest are more dead than alive”. The action of gratitude got importance from ancient times, and will be continued. But what makes Gratitude so important?

In Great Personalities:

There are many great personalities who had set an excellent precedent with their dedicated efforts for the betterment of society

For ex: Dr Abhay bang, Dr Prakash Amte who dedicated their entire life for providing healthcare solutions to the tribal population. Mother Terasa who gave service to those, who were rejected by society. Dr Sarabhai and Dr A.P.J Abdul kalam for progress of our nation in space and research field. They all have one thing in common that is gratitude tats spreads Joy.

In Science:

Science and medicine had proved that the action of giving secrets the hormone dopamine, which is also known as “happiness hormone”, which helps us to feel more energetic.

In Family:

Gratitude can be expressed in the form of simple smile, gift, gesture or two simple words- “thank you”. Even a smiling face and showing that he/she are happy with the others act is the simplest form of expressing Gratitude. In other words, statement joy is the simplest form of gratitude proves to be true. You being happy is all your parents want. Being happy is the best gratitude gesture you can give to your loved ones.

As a virtue:

Gratitude is said to be the greatest virtue, as it gives birth to other virtues. Gratitude makes the person sympathetic, empathetic, polite and compassionate. These virtues are vital for being happy.

Joy neither takes much time, nor any kind of energy it is a gift of reflex action. it requires less physical movement and less thinking process. thus, as simple and sober things are often beautiful, so is the Joy.

In our Culture:

India is the birth place of many religions. The Indian culture is known for its foundational moral values which aim at spreading love and peace in the world. The ethos of “vasudev kutubakam” substantiates this. Being happy when guest comes and providing hospitality in the best possible way to express joy which one enjoys in welcoming a guest.

Even in ancient time the dhamma of Ashoka emphasised the value of gratitude and how joy originates it.

India has a tradition of expressing the joy and gratitude through celebrations of festivals also. Gratitude towards nature is expressed when the trees and plants like Tulsi , Perpal , are worshipped. And rivers like Ganga, Yamuna are seen as goddess. This love for nature needs to be emphasised at present time when nature is being assaulted at the hands of the present time

Gratitude is expressed in the form of joy when the youth around the world come to India to take part in cultural exchange program, sports and vice versa.

The ultimate aim of life is to be Happy:

Happiness is not the material but it is inner peace which one gets when we make others happy by our work or actions. That is the reason there is a saying that “life is all about being happy and making others happy”.

Current Scenario with absence of Gratitude:


In the contemporary world, the focus has shifted to gain prosperity and money. People do not abstain from corruption or harming other in order to gain wealth. This shows the lack of ethics and morality in the present time which is leading to devastation of mankind. In today busy world, and nuclear families pushing children to school at the age of two years where kids are losing their childhood joy, and they are burdened to achieve targets and get ranks participate in co-curricular activities. These activities are resulting in to depression among youths and cause for suicide.

In India recently published data of NCRB indicates higher rates of suicides among youth. One of the major reason is lack of happiness. So, it is not exaggeration when it is said that gratitude has become or becoming extinct virtue.

Just a Show Off:

Nowadays due to development in technology, Gratitude are expressed in new forms which include electronic means.

For example: For mother’s day  posting a picture on social media and thanking them.

In this virtual world Gratitude has just become a mere show off on social media. The problems which we are facing today are due to lack of communication with family members , feelings of isolation, living in virtual reality, busy routine life , lack of contact with nature.

Living together to living apart:

Humans have never been content and are always in competition for fulfilling ever growing greedy needs. Life on planet earth initiated with very basic survival requirements and natural death. Humans earlier feared death by wildlife or natural calamities, they used to stay together as they knew if they wouldn’t stay in a group , they will easily become food for wildlife. But with evolution and gaining of knowledge has given birth to negative like factors, eventually making survival requirement ultimate goal by compromising humanity.

Today, we hear news from all over the planet about how humans kill each other through terrorism, murder, exploitation etc and the reasons behind these activities in some or the other form of greed, jealousy, selfishness, competition or immaturity.

Leading to Chaos:

The best example is of suicide, it is the inability of humans to express joy as gratitude that leads one to commit suicide. In India there is female infanticide, the superstitious myth that a girl child born is not going to be of any boon to the family and performing infanticide of that child clearly shows that joy is not expressed as gratitude. Child labour, baby dropping, dowry etc still prominent in many rural and urban areas of India are any of these practices a way to express gratitude? We have only been exploiting our own human race since ages by imposing on us these unfavorable rituals in the fear of God or religion or at times pure selfishness.

What needs to be done:

Small Gestures Matter:

On the daily routine basis not being helpful to others, not saying Thank You for every time you are helped even for smallest possible reason, not being sorry for hurting or committing mistakes, not smiling back as a greeting gesture are few other examples for not expressing gratitude and not being joyful of our very own existence as well as that of others.

Gratitude lifts, it brings to joy. And what as we age, do we cherish and savour more than joy? Pleasure, power, fame, lust, money they eventually lose their fastballs or should at our very best and wisest we just want joy and when we are filled with gratitude we see rich thick joy in the simplest of things, joy everywhere.

It is a conscious choice:

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice, one can choose to be grateful even when one’s emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which one can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. A very good quote by Roger Ebert says that , “I was perfectly content before I was born and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. I believe, that if at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.”

Educate to be grateful:

Happiness has been underlined through initiatives like Global happiness index, and establishment of happiness department by state like Madhyapradesh in India. Rajasthan is also on the way to create the department of happiness. Actually, the need of education is to inculcate Gratitude among children so that other virtues are automatically developed. And children understand that the happiness cannot be earned through money.


Grateful living is a way of life which asks us to notice all that is already present and abundant from the tiniest things of beauty to the grandest of our blessings- and in doing so, to take nothing for granted. Small grateful acts every day can uplift us, make a difference for others, and help change the world. Gautama Buddha says, “Let us rise up and be grateful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be grateful.”. In present times there is a need to understand the following proverb, which makes us a better human being.

Your real success is not measured by how much you earn, what you wear or how sophistically you speak but how many faces smile when they hear your name.


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