She talks about the financial crash of 2008 and how it’s related to gratitude (“The financial crash of 2008 further dimmed the luster of positive thinking…This left the self-improvement field open to more cautious stances, like mindfulness and resilience and — for those who could still muster it — gratitude”).
By discussing such a famous event, Ehrenreich not only grabs the audience’s attention, but shows how gratitude is related to the problematic way of thinking (positive thinking) that caused the horrible event in the first place.
She says “much of the gratitude advice involves no communication or interaction of any kind” and then uses a CNN article from a yoga instructor to show that this is the case.
If one looks at the advice, one will see that Ehrenreich has a point because the advice doesn’t mention showing gratitude to other people at all.
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Also, if you simply can’t get enough of new SAT essay prompts, you can find another one here. In Barbara Ehrenreich’s article “The Selfish Side of Gratitude,” she argues that expressing gratitude has become a selfish act.Ehrenreich uses evidence from popular news sources, real world events and appeal to emotion to argue her thesis.The first example Ehrenreich uses to show that gratitude has a selfish side is evidence from a popular news site.When I was finished, I mostly spent my time grinding out UWorld and Khan Academy problems.I used the eight official practice tests to gauge my progress.When school started back up this fall, I dropped my studying to about one hour a day during the week and two hours a day on the weekends until the test date.At this point it was mostly about eliminating careless mistakes.This example is effective because it shows that the media is influencing our perception of gratitude and making us selfish about it.Ehrenreich also uses real world events to show why gratitude has become a selfish act.Ehrenreich’s appeal to emotion is effective because it forces us to admit that not enough people show their gratitude to others in the way that Ehrenreich is describing.Overall, Ehrenreich does a good job about making us realize that gratitude has a selfish side.