Thanksgiving Day is awash in sentiment, but gratitude is not a sentiment. It’s a virtue. It’s certainly nice, but it is more than a feeling or an emotion. Properly understood, gratitude is hard because it entails both an admission and a demand.
A genuine sense of gratitude is rooted in the realization that when I think about all that I am, all that I have, and all that I might have achieved, I cannot claim to have done any of this by myself. None of us is really “self-made.” We must all acknowledge the importance of the help, advice, comfort and loyalty that came from others.