Thanksgiving has come around once again, and we at TAI hope, dear readers, that you have had a wonderful day with your families and friends.
The occasion is an excellent time to once again read an evergreen essay by our own Adam Garfinkle: “Tolerance, Forgiveness, and Gratitude.” A taste, if you haven’t yet read it:
As others have pointed out, forgiveness is not just the appeasement of anger. It cannot be achieved by paying blood money for wrongs done. True forgiveness is possible only among those whose humility enables tolerance. We can forgive others, thus breaking the primitive spiral of harm and revenge, because we recognize our own moral frailty, our own capacity for falling short. To forgive others is to tolerate their imperfections, something we can do in expectation that others will forgive us when we fall short. It makes the offering and acceptance of sincere apologies possible. It makes peace as opposed to mere truces possible. It helps, of course, to have an image of God as a merciful and forgiving power, an exemplar for those created in His spiritual image, for the concept of forgiveness to take firm root in a culture […]
And of course all of this bears on how we understand gratitude, or thanksgiving. We count blessings often not of our own making when it comes to material things. When it comes to human interactions, we must be participants to merit the even more sublime blessings of toleration and forgiveness in our societies. To express gratitude for these “higher angels” of our nature, I suggest, is something to think about on this Thanksgiving Day.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.