The Roman philosopher and statesman Cicero insisted that gratitude was "the parent of all the other virtues."
Cicero did not define gratitude as Mafia-like loyalty or mutual back-scratching. He was not referring to a pop socialism, where all supposedly owe their successes to the government.
Instead, gratitude is proof of humility and offers perspective. It is an appreciation for others, often now dead, who have helped to make us what we are. Without it, we are narcissists and self-absorbed amnesiacs.
Unfortunately, our modern "me" generation has forgotten gratitude and replaced it with the art of victimization. Contemporary Americans prefer blaming others — parents, ancestors, their country, the world in general — for their own unhappiness, while patting themselves on the back for anything that goes well.
Nowhere is the death of gratitude more acute than at our elite universities.
Today's students hunt for micro-aggressions, slights that register only on their hypersensitive Richter scales of victimization. They pout over mean Halloween costumes, inauthentic ethnic food or politically incorrect literature assignments. They are angry even at mute statues and century-old names chiseled on the arches of their ivy-covered halls.
We rarely hear students thank their parents, their universities or the government for forking over an average of more than $30,000 per year to excuse them from the American rat race. An expensive education has become more a birthright than a gift from others.Read the rest of Victor Davis Hanson's op-ed HERE.
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