Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


By Domenick J. Maglio PhD. Traditional Realist

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”
Cicero 106-43 BC

Americans have become a soft people. There have been no major wars that have directly threatened our nation. Our military is the supreme fighting force in the world while the US citizens have experienced decades of peace and economic prosperity. Our poorest citizens would not be considered disadvantaged in any developing countries of the world.

An average US citizen has more things than they know what to do with. Their biggest problem many have is finding a place to store all their expensive possessions. Mini storage buildings have sprouted like weeds to accommodate our materialistic abundance.

The major suffering modern Americans experience is not getting what they want immediately. Of course there are accidents, illness and deaths of loved ones that interrupt the never ending addictive purchasing of items that make an individual temporarily feel elated. We are so focused on obtaining our toys that we rarely recognize the many everyday blessings that we experience.

The majority of people in South America and southern Italy spontaneously burst into applause upon their airplane landing safely. They do not take the safety of passenger planes carrying hundreds of passengers for granted. They appreciate the protection provided them by a higher power.

Too many of us do not notice the many miracles that happen throughout our lives. The creation of an infant is beyond our limited comprehension to fathom. The love mature parents gladly share with their children is inspiring to all. The incredible complexity of our multi functioning mind has the capacity to empathize with others, produce innovative ideas and products to assist our survival. The many integral body parts automatically function in harmony to keep us healthy. As we complete our mundane daily tasks our immune systems are monitoring and responding to protect us from microscopic enemies.
As they study the human body, many scientists marvel at the power of the Creator.

The lack of gratitude for the Creator leaves a person with a void in comprehending our interconnectedness. He alone has caused his arrival at a particular place in time so no greater power is worthy of his thanks. Self-absorbed narcissistic people have lost their way believing they are entitled to everything they have received for they alone have controlled their lives.

The overlooking of these many occurrences or these mini miracles leaves too many people spiritually undeveloped. These individuals cannot view their journey through life as a fantastic learning experience but only as a haphazard, random series of events that finalize in death. 

There is little reason for people with this perspective to follow virtuous behavior. Whatever gets them what they want as quickly as possible is acceptable. These actions become shortcuts that promote immoral behavior. There is no need to be kind, patient, trustworthy, humble, peaceful, persevering, loyal, charitable, or to do things in moderation for it slows down the immediate gratification of being absorbed in pleasure. Everyone not wholeheartedly assisting them in life are seen as hindering them getting what they feel they deserve. This self-centered view promotes personal resentment to people who possess no malice to the individual. They even deny credit to anyone else who may have helped them. This lifestyle is a spiritual black hole.

In this earthly view, moral behavior is living a stupid life impeding a person from getting ahead as rapidly as possible.  In the modern world of consumerism-at-any price, virtuous behaviors are meaningless. People in this mindset become oblivious to witnessing the hand of God all around us.

Instead we should bask in the miracles that spring eternal. The awareness of the interrelations of all things in our lives enhances our appreciation of the things that take place. These incidents, which are beyond our control that guide us to improve ourselves should be recognized and appreciated.

From this knowledge arises a natural gratitude for this positive force. As our understanding expands for the everyday blessings in our lives there is a corresponding decrease in our egos and addiction to immediate gratification. This spiritual maturity of the person gives birth to all the other virtues in our life.

It is time to remind ourselves to teach our children to be grateful for the many incredible things that are available for us daily. This will promote virtuous behavior in their lives.

Dr. Maglio is an author and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. You can visit Dr. Maglio at


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