From The Greater Good:
What Barbara Ehrenreich Gets Wrong about Gratitude
In an opinion piece published in Sunday’s print edition of the New York Times, the bestselling author criticizes a movement to encourage thankfulness, suggesting that it’s “all about you, and how you can feel better.”
No it isn’t “all about you, and how you can feel better,” but come to think of it, the loyalty points program for gratitude is pretty good too.
But her harshest criticisms are political. To Ehrenreich, gratitude is nothing less than a plot to maintain an unjust social order. … Ehrenreich considers a Walmart employee who saw her base pay increase this past year from $8 to $9 an hour, and suggests that she’d be a “chump” to feel grateful toward Walmart’s executives. Far be it from me to tell this hypothetical employee that she should be grateful to people who make as much in a week as she makes in a year, and I hope that she—and the rest of us—can close such socioeconomic gaps.
Will gratitude actually interfere with changing your life—and your world—for the better, as she suggests it does? More.
Reality check: Wow. Are there ever some screwed-up people in that field (Ehrenreich).
Life doesn’t owe anyone anything; it’s all the other way around. Gratitude for what has worked is a critical first step to making things better.
How be: I have a job with a big company, and I get paid every hour I work. Lots of people couldn’t say that.
If WalMart raises that woman’s pay only $1/hr and she thinks she can do better, she should ask herself, okay, how?
If she is going to make changes, the extra $1/hr will help. That’s about $2000 over a year, and she is free to try to save it to make changes. She might have to go to night school or back to day school. But this is an information society and information-based skills is what people pay for these days.
If she does go that route, the only person who isn’t benefiting is the progressive, who makes a living as a parasite off people who are unhappy and unsuccessful—who, in many cases, could solve problems on their own, with all the happiness and freedom that such an achievement brings.
So the progressive has to stop them somehow. And it is getting harder all the time to get the progressive out of the picture, even as it becomes more necessary to do so.
See also: “Identity” as a club to beat, not meet
Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose