My dad and I debated about the meaning of the word gratitude. In French, the word is strongly attached to the synonym of indebtedness (obligation en français). My perception is that in English it isn’t. I found a small explanation on that:
” Comparison with indebtedness (obligation):
Gratitude is not the same as indebtedness. While both emotions occur following help, indebtedness occurs when a person perceives that they are under an obligation to make some repayment of compensation for the aid. The emotions lead to different actions; indebtedness can motivate the recipient of the aid to avoid the person who has helped them, whereas gratitude can motivate the recipient to seek out their benefactor and to improve their relationship with them.”
And gratitude can also arrise independently from any help received. I can be grateful for someone just because I like this person, not just because they help me.
Either way, when I talk about gratitude, I am referring to the synonym appreciation. There is something that happens inside of us when we acknowledge the things or people we appreciate. It’s magical!