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Gratitude is an admission of weakness, of need. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why children have such a hard time saying, “thank you.” “Thank you” is proof of the existence of what a woke person would call a power imbalance.
But “thank you” is also so important because it is part of what makes a good society. In a primitive or nature-worshipping society, might makes right. Nobody powerful needs to be nice because they can simply take what they want.
“Might Makes Right” is also the nature of totalitarian regimes, all freedom-oppressing governments, from dictators to socialists (but I repeat myself). “Please” and “Thank you” are admissions of weakness, which is dangerous for anyone in such a society to utter. The powerful cannot admit weakness, and the weak cannot afford to put themselves at someone else’s mercy. Our instincts are to protect ourselves above all. So in such a society “Thank you” is expressed only by those with no power and no alternatives: beggars.
There is, of course, another way to look at it. No man is an island. Societies are stronger when there are ties between people, within families, communities, and the nation. The farther we move from a state of nature, the more power comes from understanding that most things worth doing require cooperation and teamwork, a common vision. But recognizing and appreciating other people does not come easy – that is why we have to force children to do it.
So, for the United States to celebrate Thanksgiving is the ultimate expression of freedom, of the dogma (against all empirical evidence) that we can each be secure enough in ourselves to admit that we need others, that we are not, any of us, truly self-reliant. Saying “Thank you” to other people, to our Creator, is the mark of good breeding in a child, a positive culture in a community, and the prerequisite for a good society and civilization.
Happy Thanksgiving!Published in