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Gratitude Or Bragitude?

November 23, 2020

Over the past week you may have noticed a hashtag trending on social media.


It’s typically found at the end of a post where someone is expressing gratitude for something, or someone. It’s the brainchild of a man name Russell M. Nelson. He’s the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons. He is regarded by the faithful as not just the president of the church, but a prophet. Yes, like Moses or Noah, or Abraham, or even Peter, James and John, the apostles. Last week he gave a worldwide address and prayer. His message was simple.


He asked faithful members to flood social media with expressions of gratitude for the next seven days, and use the hashtag, #givethanks. Expect to see these posts up through the holiday this week. Thursday is Thanksiving in the United States. A holiday typically focused on expressing thanks for the things we have.

It’s been interesting to see the reaction of people online. Some are cynical. Some are amused. Many, of course are sincere. And why not? We’re still in the middle of a deadly pandemic. Thousands die every day. In the United States, we’ve just completed one of the most brutal elections in recent history. So brutal that the loser is still refusing to concede.

Why not a little positive energy to counter the negativity washing over social media? Personally I think it’s a good thing.

I posted pictures of my family,


My lovely wife,


and a post without pictures.

Youngest grandson came home from the NICU today after spending his first three weeks there.


Many of my friends posted similar thoughts and pictures. And I found myself pressing LIKE on a lot more posts than I do normally.

As I said, not everyone is pleased with the #givethanks movement. In fact, some are almost hostile. But, if you listen to their objections, it makes sense. They are not objecting to my post. They are not objecting to my friends’ posts about family and people important to them. No, they are objecting to what one friend called bragitude.

There is another group online posting online. They’ve always posted, but now they are co-opting the #givethanks hashtag. These are the people posting,

I’m so glad we made it back from Aspen in time to be at my niece’s ballet performance. She’s dancing the lead!

Oh. . .#givethanks

Basically, Bragituders “give thanks” for stuff. Stuff they are happy to tell you about. Or, they talk about experiences. But, not ordinary experiences. Experiences that, like the description of their stuff, they are happy to tell you about. And throw in a #givethanks. . .because you know, they aren’t bragging.

I was hesitant to participate in the #givethanks campaign at first. And then I realized it was for the very reason my friend’s objected to. I didn’t want to be a Bragituder. (Bragitonian? Bragidacio?)

Once I realized my ojbection, I felt better about my choice to post something.

Because I really am grateful. For my family. For my friends. For many people. But, most of the stuff? Nah, it’s just stuff. Stuff can be replaced. People can’t.

Stay safe and #givethanks

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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