Gratitude: Does The Left Have Any? Does The Right Demand It? We are busy politicizing everything, including science, law enforcement, religion, sports, medicine, history and education. Now we are doing the same thing with gratitude. We are making gratitude political. To our peril.
This 10 minute episode will help us in our lives, and help us to think through the issues surrounding us.
N.B. This is a useful blog, a signpost, pointing you to this episode on both the new Revolution 2.0™ YouTube channel, and where you enjoy your podcasts, e.g., Apple, Google and Spotify, as well as reading them here.
It all starts with gratitude. Gratitude is the bedrock, the touchstone–cornerstone–for any effective philosophy, religious dogma, or simply a way to get through life or the day successfully. Ingratitude makes for a grim and unproductive outlook on life, love and politics.
Perhaps the most pernicious form of ingratitude is encouraging others to refuse to be grateful.
Many on the Left are clearly ungrateful for much of anything, and are encouraging others to join them in this harmful thinking. The 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory distortions of history encourage us to be angry at America instead of knowing how fortunate we are to be in the country that is the most successful of all time, and offers the most freedom and opportunity of any country in the history of history. With claims that everything from healthcare to housing are human rights, there is little to be grateful for here, either. But note the irony: These so-called rights are to be supplied by the very country, America, which is vilified by the same people who claim that America is so deeply flawed that it needs to be re-built. And the taxes in the main come from people the Left criticizes as privileged capitalists.
For their part, many on the Right seem to be demanding that people be grateful. Their position is that people must be grateful for what they get, especially for what they get from taxpayers. That’s nonsense. You can’t demand gratitude any more than you can demand love or respect. All three must be offered up voluntarily.
We are surrounded 24/7 with things we can–and should–be openly grateful for. If you have access to running water in your home, be grateful. One in three people on the planet don’t have access to a decent toilet, and one in nine don’t have clean water close to home. How about electricity? We all get frustrated when the power goes out; when it returns, our response is likely to be, “Well, finally! What’s with those people?” Over 1.2 billion–with a “B”–people don’t have any electricity to lose in the first place. Their power is always out.
Let’s pause for an important distinction: Gratitude is not the same as contentment. The masthead of the Denver Post used to include the saying, “There is no hope for the satisfied man.” Being grateful for everything you have does not mean that you have to be content with everything you have. Some people confuse, “I’m grateful.” with, “I’m good with things the way they are.” Being grateful does not mean going limp. In fact, it takes more strength and discipline to be grateful than to complain. We all can–and should–strive for improvements. And setting new plans and striving, pushing is best done while resting on a firm foundation of gratitude.
And being grateful just works. And I like things that work.
OK, your turn. Going from water and electricity, to freedom and opportunity, add some things that you are grateful to have. Take your time. Share them with friends and family, and in the comments.
We all have the personal responsibility to practice and encourage gratitude, entirely independent of any political notions or beliefs. Gratitude is the needed bedrock of each day, and the firm foundation of our lives. Speaking of personal responsibility, this principle does not stand alone; the two main and interdependent principles at Revolution 2.0 are:
1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. You can start by subscribing to these episodes, and encouraging others to subscribe with you.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:1.
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.
This is Will Luden. We’ll talk again soon.