Aside from when my own bad behavior chastens me, few things more reliably get me as low as being with someone who strikes me as reflexively ungrateful. Recently, while recounting how a loud noise right outside my home had startled me while typing very late at night, I went on to say how fortunate I feel to live where I do. I recalled how the sound jarred me but I never considered picking up the phone to call the police; crime didn't cross my mind. I assumed - again, because of what I went on to say was connected to my good fortune - there was likely a reasonable non-malevolent cause for that noise. I concluded the anecdote by saying how the next morning I found a shutter lying on my front lawn, no doubt dislodged by the wind.
At first, the person to whom I was speaking seemed bemused by my thought process. Initially, I was unsure why my reactions - which felt logical to me - would generate bemusement. But as we continued speaking the conversation seemed to keep circling back to crime and its victims. I began suspecting this individual had been the victim of a crime. I asked. The answer was no. I tried probing more and my questions were soon being rebuffed. I was told gratitude for my good fortune was naïve. Now I was asked: Hadn't I worked hard all my life so I could choose to live in a place where good people didn't have to think about crime? I answered yes I had worked hard. Yes, I chose to live somewhere relatively free of crime.
The conversation then heated up a few degrees after I said I took exception to the "good" people part of the question. I said I'll remain grateful and soon after, suggested we agree to disagree. Your view, please: Is gratitude for what we have ever naïve?