The Value of Appreciation

 

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 General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 30 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I’m not sure I agree with you on this. I certainly agree with some of your points, but I don’t see saying or giving thanks as any sort of weakness. I’m from an old Southron family. Giving thanks is what the powerful do and how they stay powerful, by acknowledging their blessings and being gracious.

    • #1
  2. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I love what you both said, Arahant and iWe. I don’t think they are opposed at all. 

    Happy Thanksgiving to you both. :-) 

    I am thankful for Ricochet and the wonderful inspiration, and frankly hope, I find here every day. 

    Back to my pies . . .  

    • #2
  3. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I’m not sure I agree with you on this. I certainly agree with some of your points, but I don’t see saying or giving thanks as any sort of weakness. I’m from an old Southron family. Giving thanks is what the powerful do and how they stay powerful, by acknowledging their blessings and being gracious.

    In a civilized society, yes. You think Stalin or Saddam Hussein said, “thank you”?

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I’ve thanked people who have done me a good turn. Sometimes they were completely unaware that they were doing so. Calling it to their attention may result in them doing it again for someone else.

    Or monetize it. Yeah, that could probably happen.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I think when we say thank you, we are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to the other. Sometimes that is a sweet way of saying, what you said/did was important to me. I value you. I realize that I live in an interdependent world and I am ever so grateful to have people around whom I can thank. The last thing Stalin and Lenin would do is show vulnerability. In their eyes, that would show weakness. In our society, it is a strength.

    • #5
  6. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    iWe (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I’m not sure I agree with you on this. I certainly agree with some of your points, but I don’t see saying or giving thanks as any sort of weakness. I’m from an old Southron family. Giving thanks is what the powerful do and how they stay powerful, by acknowledging their blessings and being gracious.

    In a civilized society, yes. You think Stalin or Saddam Hussein said, “thank you”?

    I would expect tyrants to thank and reward the henchmen who help them hold their place.  Everyone else, not so much.

    • #6
  7. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    iWe: Gratitude is an admission of weakness, of need.

    I’m not sure I agree with that.  I can go both ways.  But with the rest of your post, I agree.  Happy Thanksgiving!

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    iWe (View Comment):
    You think Stalin or Saddam Hussein said, “thank you”?

    I don’t know, but I would assume they did at times. It does depend on the culture. I have the impression that Arab cultures tend to be more florid in praise and giving thanks than Russian culture. It doesn’t mean it is sincere, of course. Again, though, I don’t think there is only one way to see saying “Thank you,” meaning as showing weakness or vulnerability.

    It is like with @hankrhody‘s recent thread about Jamestown. The indigenous people of America saw giving gifts as a way to show wealth, assert power and authority, and put the other person into your debt. The English saw it as a sign of weakness and appeasement.

    In my culture, the powerful can afford to be gracious. It isn’t weakness, giving thanks is a display of wealth and power. Of course, there is also the aspect of acknowledging a Higher Power. But that, too, is a sign of strength. Look at the regimes that do not acknowledge a higher power. What are they forced to do to keep power? French Revolution? Soviet Union? CCP? They are weak and maintain power not through moral authority, but through a willingness to kill, torture, and enslave.

    So, coming back around, it’s not that you’re wrong, it’s that it is only one view, and when the two views compete, the misunderstandings can lead to a high death toll.

    • #8
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    iWe (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I’m not sure I agree with you on this. I certainly agree with some of your points, but I don’t see saying or giving thanks as any sort of weakness. I’m from an old Southron family. Giving thanks is what the powerful do and how they stay powerful, by acknowledging their blessings and being gracious.

    In a civilized society, yes. You think Stalin or Saddam Hussein said, “thank you”?

    Stalin lived in fear. He did not heave peace. 

    It is interesting that the people with peace are the ones who are able to say thanks. Power to take what you want is ultimately holding onto water with your bare hands.  

    • #9
  10. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Thank you, iWe, for this thoughtful post.

    • #10
  11. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Arahant (View Comment):
    In my culture, the powerful can afford to be gracious. It isn’t weakness, giving thanks is a display of wealth and power.

    What’s your culture, if you don’t mind me asking?  But I will be thankful if you tell me.  ;)

    • #11
  12. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Stalin lived in fear. He did not heave peace. 

    Saddam Hussein always slept with knives in his bed in case someone tried to attack him. 

    • #12
  13. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Stalin lived in fear. He did not heave peace.

    Saddam Hussein always slept with knives in his bed in case someone tried to attack him.

    There you go. I did not know that specific. 

     

    • #13
  14. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Manny (View Comment):
    What’s your culture, if you don’t mind me asking?

    I’m a Southron.

    • #14
  15. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    What’s your culture, if you don’t mind me asking?

    I’m a Southron.

    Hah!

    • #15
  16. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Stalin lived in fear. He did not heave peace.

    Saddam Hussein always slept with knives in his bed in case someone tried to attack him.

    I don’t think you sleep with knives to defend yourself.  You sleep with a gun to protect yourself.  You sleep with knives because you love them.  That’s different than seeing them as a tool.

    • #16
  17. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    What’s your culture, if you don’t mind me asking?

    I’m a Southron.

    Ok, thanks. ;)

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    What’s your culture, if you don’t mind me asking?

    I’m a Southron.

    Hah!

    Since the 1600’s and before the Revolution. And had many direct ancestors in the Late Unpleasantness.

    • #18
  19. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Flicker (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Stalin lived in fear. He did not heave peace.

    Saddam Hussein always slept with knives in his bed in case someone tried to attack him.

    I don’t think you sleep with knives to defend yourself. You sleep with a gun to protect yourself. You sleep with knives because you love them. That’s different than seeing them as a tool.

    His staff said he did it in case someone tried to attack him in his sleep. 

    • #19
  20. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    What’s your culture, if you don’t mind me asking?

    I’m a Southron.

    Hah!

    Since the 1600’s and before the Revolution. And had many direct ancestors in the Late Unpleasantness.

    The first association in my mind was Tolkien.  I can picture you riding an Oliphant. (:

    • #20
  21. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Stalin lived in fear. He did not heave peace.

    Saddam Hussein always slept with knives in his bed in case someone tried to attack him.

    I don’t think you sleep with knives to defend yourself. You sleep with a gun to protect yourself. You sleep with knives because you love them. That’s different than seeing them as a tool.

    His staff said he did it in case someone tried to attack him in his sleep.

    And a gun is still the most effective answer to that.  No one with access to pistols sleeps with knives for self-protection.

    • #21
  22. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Flicker (View Comment):
    And a gun is still the most effective answer to that.  No one with access to pistols sleeps with knives for self-protection.

    Some of us don’t like loud noises.

    • #22
  23. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    And a gun is still the most effective answer to that. No one with access to pistols sleeps with knives for self-protection.

    Some of us don’t like loud noises.

    I’m not saying I myself don’t keep a katana under the covers.

    • #23
  24. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    And a gun is still the most effective answer to that. No one with access to pistols sleeps with knives for self-protection.

    Some of us don’t like loud noises.

    I guess the issue is what’s most likely to let you live through the encounter.  It’s not a knife.

    • #24
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    I guess the issue is what’s most likely to let you live through the encounter.  It’s not a knife.

    God.

    • #25
  26. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    I guess the issue is what’s most likely to let you live through the encounter. It’s not a knife.

    God.

    I’m in the “Put your trust in God but mind to keep your powder dry” school of thought.

    • #26
  27. Chowderhead Coolidge
    Chowderhead
    @Podunk

    I had to look up a Southron. Thats why I like you guys!

    I am grateful for the 50 cops, K9 units, and helicopter that found the perp on my property two days ago. If he found me before they found him I would be in trouble right now. Well, so much for my alias.

    https://www.masslive.com/police-fire/2021/11/man-with-warrants-for-kidnapping-home-invasion-and-drug-and-firearms-offenses-identified-and-arrested-by-east-brookfield-police.html

     

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Chowderhead (View Comment):

    I had to look up a Southron. Thats why I like you guys!

    I am grateful for the 50 cops, K9 units, and helicopter that found the perp on my property two days ago. If he found me before they found him I would be in trouble right now. Well, so much for my alias.

    https://www.masslive.com/police-fire/2021/11/man-with-warrants-for-kidnapping-home-invasion-and-drug-and-firearms-offenses-identified-and-arrested-by-east-brookfield-police.html

    There really is a Podunk?

    • #28
  29. Chowderhead Coolidge
    Chowderhead
    @Podunk

    Here. Read my beer.

    I can’t enlarge it so..

    The original village of Podunk lies south of the marshes in East Brookfield. During his youth, vaudville entertainer George Cohan spent his summers with his relatives in Podunk. He loved East Brookfield, and made the term “Podunk” famous, describing it in his comedy acts. Over time, the word entered the language, standing for any archetypal small town. bla bla…

    • #29
  30. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Chowderhead (View Comment):

    Here. Read my beer.

    Well you learn something new every day.  Cheers to Podunk.

    • #30