Fantastic article, Richie! … have you heard of Seb100things (on Instagram)? I heard him spread recently and he asked that exact question, too.
After a tragedy he was motivated to start living his own life rather than the life society told him to live. One of the items on his list of 100 things to do was “help a stranger”, and now he’s starting www.kindsum.com to bring people together who wish to give or request acts of kindness.
You’re also right that gratitude can happen without tragedy or loss, we just need to be open to it. Centuries of evolution lead us to focus more on fear, but with some awareness we can train ourselves to highlight our gratitudes :)