“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
– William Arthur Ward
Gratitude often gets wrapped up in a bundle of unearned guilt. “You don’t appreciate me,” is often said in a scolding, guilt-invoking way; and often with reason.
If you’re rational, gratitude flows from your understanding of what created the value. You feel grateful to yourself for your own achievements. You don’t delude yourself with false humility. At the same time, you don’t delude yourself with a failure to recognize — and name aloud, where possible and appropriate — the achievement, generosity, competence or good will exhibited by another.
“Giving thanks” is simply a pause of recognition.
It’s difficult to imagine what many Americans — who so hate their country, their freedom, their prosperity and the legitimate heroes within their midst — feel thankful for. America is filled with nihilistic, value-hating brats. But at least as much, I hope it’s accurate to say that America and the world are filled with rational, decent people who truly grasp the meaning of the concept “to give thanks.”
For that much, I am truly grateful.