A meme making the rounds says, essentially, that because Ukraine is war-torn and we’re not, “… it’s time that we all be a lot more thankful and definitely more grateful.”
I cannot begin to express my contempt for that shallow recycling of Think you have troubles? There are people who have it worse, you know and There but for the grace of God go I.
Never mind that “a lot more thankful and definitely more grateful” is the kind of redundancy that suggests a simpleton’s aspiring to profundity. The notion that someone else’s horrible circumstances should make us happy about our own fortuitous ones is galling in its inhumanity. No better is the underlying suggestion that complacency at home is the proper response to someone’s having it worse abroad.
On the contrary, the situation in Ukraine should fill us with compassion for Ukrainians and horror for Putin. At home, it should galvanize us against the least degree of tyranny, violence, inequity, injustice, racism, intolerance, misinformation, environmental assault, and other ills—not make us grateful that such could be worse.
Far from “a lot more thankful and definitely more grateful,” I am concerned. Deeply so.
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