A (very) previous post discussed the idea of being too grumpy for gratitude, with a focus on one humility-prompting passage from the morning blessings:
…Master of all worlds, we do not offer our supplications before You based on our righteousness, but rather based on Your great mercy. What are we? What are our lives?….Man barely rises above beast, for everything is worthless [hakol havel]….
Because of this, we are obliged to acknowledge and thank you…
– See “Is thanks ever simple? – part 2″
In that post, Ellen Frankel and Estelle Frankel (no relation as far as I know) are quoted on the concepts of “bittul/self-surrender” and a “healthy sense of entitlement.”
Admitting such truth is not simple. It requires that we abandon our grandiose childish sense of entitlement to God’s favor. We…are puny in God’s sight. Ultimately, we can only throw ourselves on God’s mercy.
But is this abject humility an honest expression of how we feel? Must we really live our lives as though we are so worthless, as though hakol havel, “everything is worthless,” as Ecclesiastes lamented?
– Ellen Frankel, My Peoples Prayerbook