Non-secularists lay no rightful claim to mediate ethical or moral behavior, and by the same token secularists ought to be careful to convey spiritual obligation in the absence of agency; it’s time for the annual inventory of gratitude.

I am grateful for altruists the world over. Individuals dedicated to an intellectual ideal of equity and community, and not a transactional one of accumulation and power.

It’s hard to tell whom to applaud sometimes, amid a society where taking care of one’s own is understood not only as a basic human Right but mandated beyond that as a righteous responsibility.

On the one hand it should be a parent’s “individual” right to educate their child to the highest possible standard and potentiality. We are, after all, little more than replicating machinery and naturally our essence is focused toward that end.

The problem is, resources are finite, budgetary games are zero-sum and when individual boostering is unconstrained, someone, somewhere gets less. And that’s where morality does a backflip and begs the question: does one individual deserve more than another? Lots more?

Well, I am grateful for those who work regardless of whether their remuneration is adequate or fair, or even immoderate: teachers, firefighters, doctors, police, scholars, naturalists, retail clerks to name just a few – those who do work and build upward are admirable, those who do so at their own expense expand the confines of a numerically bounded economy and infuse it with a different fuel: community.

I am grateful for a society that affords us the means to spread risk, to share wealth and educate everyone’s neighbor to a higher degree. This is an achievement worthy of tremendous pride ~ to construct a society that sustains altruism.

Let us never suggest that a thousand points of light replace professional remuneration necessary for sustaining an appropriate class distribution. But for those who work with a dedication informed by genuine sympathy, there is a special debt of gratitude that accrues to the common good.

Happy Thanksgiving!