We puritanical libertarians do utter purity first. To begin to classify and categorize the various strains of purity is one of the tasks of ethics. Thankfulness is one such strain. We puritanical libertarians hold the right to be thankful sacred at each moment of each day. Nothing wrong with a bit of worship of that which is sacred by a practical setting aside of time and place for it. But woe to he who mistakes the days not labeled “Thanksgiving” as days in which it is no longer recommended. Thankfulness is a right every day! It is yours, it is mine. Exercise your right today and every day. It is one of those things to which one can rightfully say, “Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find.” From Epictetus, Discourses, 1.6:
“Well then have you not received faculties by which you will be able to bear all that happens? Have you not received greatness of soul? Have you not received manliness? Have you not received endurance? … Bring now, O Zeus, any difficulty that thou pleasest, for I have means given to me by thee and powers for honouring myself through the things which happen.”
Oh the manliness! Oh the development of the rational animal expressed in the spirited invitation to the god–“Bring it on, whatever thou will”. Oh the keen sense Epictetus has of himself, what is his, what it is worth, what it is for. Oh the obvious thankfulness, first for the gift of the rational that is ready for anything, then for that which the rational is presented with that it is given to operate on.
I am thankful today for the gift of my nature. To live it is to be aware through action of its obvious nobility. To speak of it is to enter the poetic. Here is how Epictetus puts it poetically in Discourses, 1.3:
“If a man should be able to assent to this doctrine as he ought, that we are all sprung from God in an especial manner, and that God is the father of both men and of gods, I suppose that he would never have any ignoble or mean thoughts about himself.”
Oh ye, born of the divine spermatazoa.
Dear reader. Join me today in especial thankfulness. But let it not pass. Each moment that you are, be thankful for what you, and I, have been given that is more than any and all externals we will meet with. It is ours to take responsibility for the protection and preservation of the rational nature. It can become brutalized. It is not immune to repetitious choice. But that for another day.