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That's Gratitude

That's Gratitude

By: Larken Rose

It is easy to focus on whatever we lack, rather than focusing on all that
we have. Hurricane Sandy just gave a fine example of that to millions of
us easterners. We're so used to flipping the switch and have a room light
up, that when we don't have it for two days, it feels like a hardship.
On top of that, today I am very thankful that my guts don't hurt.
Yesterday they did. Apparently I contracted food poisoning. (I guess just
being without light or heat wasn't exciting enough.) After a day of
serious abdominal discomfort, I am now keenly aware--and very
thankful--that my intestines no longer are complaining at me.
And yet, while in pain, in the cold, in the dark, I still had a lot fewer
problems than a lot of people in the world. I had every reason to expect
that my discomfort and inconvenience was temporary, and that I'd soon be
back to my ridiculously easy life. And I mean ridiculously easy
objectively speaking. Compared to most of my neighbors, I'm pretty darn
poor, with various problems--many financial--hanging over my head. But I
have food and a roof, and more importantly, my wife and daughter are safe
and sound. No one is shooting at me at the moment, and no one ever has.
I'm not near starvation right now, and I never have been. I don't have any
serious medical condition (as far as I know), and I never have. Even when
I was in prison, the amount of time spent there, and the conditions there,
were rather tolerable compared to most prisons around the world. And now
I'm out. So, all things considered, what on earth do I have to complain
People sometimes ask me, given all the comforts and freedoms we do still
have here, why don't I just enjoy it and stop complaining? Some imagine
that I do what I do, railing against statism, because I'm a malcontent,
and just refuse to be happy with what I have. While I can understand some
people getting that impression, the reality is the opposite: appreciating
the benefits of freedom--even partial freedom--compels me to do whatever I
can to maintain it, and increase it, in as many ways as possible, for as
many people as possible.
Where I live, I can publicly criticize the control freaks who claim the
right to rule me (and several hundred million of my neighbors), and no one
shoots me (or at least they haven't yet). There were and are a lot of
places where that would not be the case. The reason I do what I do is
because I don't want this to become one of those places.
Similarly, in this country, the common "rabble" are still allowed to be
armed, which sets us apart from a lot of other places, where tyrants can
do whatever they want with little threat of open resistance from their
victims. Again, I do what I do because I don't want this to become one of
those places.
To argue that somewhere else is worse, so we should just be happy and not
make waves, is both cowardly and short-sighted. The advantages we do enjoy
exist precisely because of the people who came before, who did "make
waves." And when people adopt pack mentality, and object to anyone
criticizing their "team" ("love it or leave it!"), they fail to realize
that they are allowing their "team" to decay into just another giant slave
plantation. Instead, how about, "love it, and fix it!"? Just because we
still have so much here is no reason to turn a blind eye to all the things
which are going horribly wrong. In fact, it is when we are so rich that we
have to make a special effort to keep an eye out for the lies and schemes
that can drag us down into complete servitude. It's when we have so much,
and therefore so much to lose, that human beings often become lazy,
complacent, and cowardly, clinging to their relatively safe, familiar,
predictable lives.
Ironically, as Hurricane Sandy just demonstrated, when things get really
bad, that brings out the best in a lot of people. And losing our daily
comforts is a good way to help us appreciate them more, once we get them
back. The trouble is, when freedom goes, getting it back is rarely pretty,
rarely peaceful, and rarely even successful. For days and days before
Sandy hit, lots of people had lots of helpful suggestions on what to do
ahead of time, to make the bad part more bearable. Likewise, it makes no
sense for us to sit around until we have complete totalitarianism, and
then start deciding what to do about it. We have to speak out, and act
out, right now, not because we're malcontents who are never satisfied, but
because we are thankful for what we have, and have no intention of giving
it up--for ourselves, or our children, or the world.
Our job is not to carelessly fritter away what wealth and freedom we still
have, to leave an oppressive nightmare for others to deal with. Our job is
to take the good we have, and build on it, so that those who come after us
will have to make a concerted effort, maybe each November, to think, "Wow,
I sure am glad that humanity got over that horrible 'government'
superstition before I grew up." If you love, and appreciate, and are
thankful for what you have, show it by making sure the next generation has
even more.
"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have
peace." [Thomas Paine]
Larken Rose is author of several books, including The Iron Web and How to be a Successful Tyrant. Visit his webpage at LarkenRose.Com

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09-27-2020  •  Newsyfi 
News Link  •  Giving Thanks
Fireside Chat Ep. 110 - If You're Not Grateful You're Not Happy
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Opinion  •  More about Giving Thanks
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