Friday, November 25, 2022

Thanks springs from humility

Stirewalt offered some Thanksgiving thoughts yesterday: "I love Thanksgiving for making explicit that gratitude is a necessary precondition for any real happiness—both for individuals and for nations. .... Thanksgiving is the most attitudinally conservative of our holidays. It is not about pride in all the good things we have and the great works we have achieved, but is instead rooted in humility. You can’t be thankful for what you believe you deserve, so humility begets gratitude, which begets happiness." He quoted part of this by Yuval Levin:
To my mind, conservatism is gratitude. Conservatives tend to begin from gratitude for what is good and what works in our society and then strive to build on it, while liberals tend to begin from outrage at what is bad and broken and seek to uproot it.

You need both, because some of what is good about our world is irreplaceable and has to be guarded, while some of what is bad is unacceptable and has to be changed. We should never forget that the people who oppose our various endeavors and argue for another way are well intentioned too, even when they’re wrong, and that they’re not always wrong.

But we can also never forget what moves us to gratitude, and so what we stand for and defend: the extraordinary cultural inheritance we have; the amazing country built for us by others and defended by our best and bravest; America’s unmatched potential for lifting the poor and the weak; the legacy of freedom—of ordered liberty—built up over centuries of hard work.
Chris Stirewalt, "First Humble, Then Thankful, Then Happy," The Dispatch, Nov. 24, 1022.

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