The Death of Gratitude

From Victor Davis Hanson, my favorite classicist:

The Roman philosopher and statesman Cicero insisted that gratitude was “the parent of all the other virtues.”

…gratitude is proof of humility and offers perspective. It is an appreciation for others, often now dead, who have helped to make us what we are. Without it, we are narcissists and self-absorbed amnesiacs.

Unfortunately, our modern “me” generation has forgotten gratitude and replaced it with the art of victimization. Contemporary Americans prefer blaming others — parents, ancestors, their country, the world in general — for their own unhappiness while patting themselves on the back for anything that goes well.

So, perhaps Cicero was wrong–humility is the parent of all the other virtues. But seeing a little gratitude would be nice.

Read the whole thing, of course.

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Another day for gratitude

I have noticed that some of my friends on Facebook have been posting something different for which they are grateful every day of November. What a cool thing to do! Gratitude lists are a common exercise in Alcoholics Anonymous. A recovering alcoholic has ample opportunity for self-pity, the lowest rung of selfishness; when mired in this morass, one’s AA sponsor will suggest, “Make a gratitude list!” (Sponsors do not tolerate a lot of self-pity.) It always works for me–how can I be whiny with all that I have to thank God for?

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all my friends and family! Believe me, you are all on my gratitude list. Let us all keep an “attitude of gratitude” in this holiday season.

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