Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ecclesiastes 9:11

"Which leads to a chance exchange of text messages with Yuval Levin, the conservative editor, writer and political theorist, that I realized was the best possible preparation for Thanksgiving.
I was fact checking his age for a book I've written on American conservatism in which he plays a key role.  When Levin told me he was 38, I noted that he had enjoyed a lot of early success.  He replied that "luck and chance go a long way," and then he offered this: "Ecclesiastes 9:11 should be stamped on luxury cars and Harvard degrees."..
The passage Levin cited reads as follows in the New International Version of the Bible: "I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all."...
Gratitude requires the swift, the strong, the wise, the wealthy, the brilliant and the learned (or those whom the world recognizes as such) to beware of their temptation to arrogance.
No matter how hard we might have toiled or how much we might have struggled, the bounty we enjoy is inescapably linked to unearned blessings."
E. J. Dionne, The Discipline of Gratitude.  The Washington Post. 26 Nov. 2015, A27

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