I received a subscription to Canada’s National Post for Christmas. The paper’s ‘Letters’ page, December 31, 2012, was dedicated to an idea suggested earlier by one of their readers, Esther Paul. Esther had recommended to Paul Russell, the Letters editor, that readers be asked, “What gives them joy/satisfaction/what are they grateful for.”
At the same time, I do realize that it is possible for some to experience the same joy and sense of being grateful without believing in God. The only problem that arises with that approach is how one might then a) explain the presence and absence of these things for which they are happy about and grateful, in their lives, or in the lives of others; and b) who is such a person being “thankful” or “grateful” to, or from whom are we withhold such thankfulness. The actual meaning of the phrase “thank you” makes sense when we consider that normally when we express it, we are shifting “responsibility” in a positive way from ourselves to someone else. [For example, when your arms are full of grocery bags and you have to get through a door, and I come along and open that door for you, you say “thank you” because I have in essence taken that ‘responsibility’ from you and transferred it to myself as you allow me to. You would not be saying ‘thank you’ if you refused to allow me to open the door for you, even if I did.] So I would ask anyone who thinks like Mr. Sotto, “Who is taking on the responsibility of making you “thankful” by giving you any joy or gratefulness in anything?”
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