On Deserving and Being Thankful for What Is Deserved (Because There Are No Guarantees)

by

American Princess wrote, “Thanksgiving is a fantastic opportunity to compare what we have to what we really deserve.”

 

I don’t know that “we” can be said to deserve or not in the aggregate, as a people. What “we” Americans get certainly exceeds the dreams of 99 percent of all the humans who ever lived, and for that we can be truly thankful.

 

Individuals, however, can said to deserve good outcomes or bad based on their character and what they contribute, regardless of whether the contribution is big like that of hero in Ayn Rand novel, or modest like the good mom who tries to do the best job she can raising her kids, or the good dad who works hard – perhaps at a job he doesn’t really love – to provide for his family without mooching off anyone else.

 

Such people are who Tom Wolfe had in mind when he penned this paean the to middle class – that bedrock of the good society which was perhaps first explicitly acknowledged as such by Aristotle. Here’s Wolfe:

 

“The truth is that there is a common bond among all cultures, among all peoples in this world … at least among those who have reached the level of the wheel, the shoe, and the toothbrush. And that common bond is that much-maligned class known as the bourgeoisie – the middle class. These people are to be found not only in Boston, they are to be found in Bombay, in Benin City in Benin, West Africa, in Bonn in what used to be called West Germany, in Beirut, in Bermuda, in Barcelona.

 

They are all over the world, in every continent, every nation, every society, every culture, everywhere you find the wheel, the shoe, and the toothbrush; and wherever they are, all of them believe in the same things. And what are those things? Peace, order, education, hard work, initiative, enterprise, creativity, cooperation, looking out for one another, looking out for the future of children, patriotism, fair play, and honesty. How much more do you want from the human beast? How much more can you possibly expect?”

 

The contributing members of this class deserve all the good things we celebrate and take time to be thankful for on this day, wherever they live and whatever their own cultural traditions.

 

Thank you America, bourgeoisie, capitalism, friends and family. :heart:

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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