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Thankfulness

Thank­ful­ness is not the same as gratitude.

Thank­ful­ness involves appre­cia­tive­ness, grat­i­tude is the act of being thank­ful. You must appre­ci­ate some­thing in order to be thank­ful, which brings in the act of gratitude.

Our first Pres­i­dent, George Wash­ing­ton, at the request of Con­gress, estab­lished the first Thanks­giv­ing Day for the pur­pose of “acknowl­edg­ing with grate­ful hearts the many sig­nal favors of Almighty God espe­cially by afford­ing them an oppor­tu­nity peace­ably to estab­lish a form of gov­ern­ment for their safety and happiness.”

Let’s look closely at those words.

Acknowl­edg­ing with grate­ful hearts

A human being rec­og­nizes a good, appre­ci­ates it, and does do with gratitude.

the many sig­nal favors of Almighty God
As we are cre­ated by God and endowed with “cer­tain unalien­able Rights, that among these are Life, Lib­erty and the pur­suit of Happiness.”

espe­cially by afford­ing them an oppor­tu­nity peace­ably to estab­lish a form of gov­ern­ment
Not only to estab­lish a form of gov­ern­ment, but a gov­ern­ment, as defined in the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence, that is “deriv­ing their just pow­ers from the con­sent of the gov­erned,” not a gov­ern­ment that imposes its will upon its people.

for their safety and hap­pi­ness.
Safety in a coun­try where all cit­i­zens are equal under the law, and pur­sue hap­pi­ness in liberty.

If you are of a cer­tain age, you may be think­ing, “I heard this in grade school.” Yes, I know I’m sound­ing like a fifth grader going over a his­tory homework.

Sadly, a great many adults have for­got­ten, and a lot of young peo­ple are never taught, the most basic of lessons: Thank­ful­ness is inher­ent in the Amer­i­can spirit.

And yes, the Found­ing Fathers chose their words very carefully.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s blog

Thankfulness is not the same as gratitude.

Thankfulness involves appreciativeness, gratitude is the act of being thankful. You must appreciate something in order to be thankful, which brings in the act of gratitude.

Our first President, George Washington, at the request of Congress, established the first Thanksgiving Day for the purpose of “acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Let’s look closely at those words.

Acknowledging with grateful hearts

A human being recognizes a good, appreciates it, and does do with gratitude.

the many signal favors of Almighty God
As we are created by God and endowed with “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government
Not only to establish a form of government, but a government, as defined in the Declaration of Independence, that is “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” not a government that imposes its will upon its people.

for their safety and happiness.
Safety in a country where all citizens are equal under the law, and pursue happiness in liberty.

If you are of a certain age, you may be thinking, “I heard this in grade school.” Yes, I know I’m sounding like a fifth grader going over a history homework.

Sadly, a great many adults have forgotten, and a lot of young people are never taught, the most basic of lessons: Thankfulness is inherent in the American spirit.

And yes, the Founding Fathers chose their words very carefully.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog