Tag Archives: Emma Green

What’s Going On When We Give Thanks

By now, most of us have shaken off the Thanksgiving food stupor (if the not the extra pound or two) that can come easily over the holiday—perhaps even to the point where we can briefly think a bit more deeply about what’s going on when we give thanks.

Most of us have been in some way conditioned to thank other people when they do something that benefits us. At the very least, it’s an acknowledgement that what they’ve done has blessed us in some way. We may even speak in terms of owing someone “a debt of gratitude.” That would seem to makes sense when we can easily trace a benefit to the actions of another human party.

But what about the larger picture? In a recent article, Emma Green frames it this way: “You can thank your grandma for making delicious pie, but who do you thank for the general circumstances of your life?”