Gratitude is a vast concept. That I am thirsty and drink water, I would feel grateful but I think modern-day science has given man a gigantic framework of thanksgiving. For example, earlier man could only drink water and thank God for it but modern-science made it known to man that to cater to his fresh water requirements, God put in place a complete rain cycle. The original source of this water is the saltwater stored in the seas and oceans. This stored water is saline, nature having mixed ten per cent of salt in this water as a preservative, but saltwater is useful neither for man nor for agriculture. It is nature that initiates a global process of desalination and it is desalinated water that, by the established law of nature, rises in the form of vapour and forms clouds. Then from the clouds there is a downpour of fresh water. Man did not know this earlier. And by realising this gratitude would increase manifold.
Western civilisation actually gave us a bigger framework to express gratitude. It gave us the microscope to observe the realities in the micro world and a telescope to view the grand universe! This was predicted in the Quran as
We shall show them Our signs in the universe and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth. (41:53)
The developments in science converted the local shukr into universal shukr. Man always expressed gratitude to God but through secular men, believers got a much wider framework to express gratitude.