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Gratitude

Cicero (106-43 BC) the great Roman politician/philosopher considered gratitude the greatest of virtues.

Modern psychology argues that there is a correlation between gratitude and wellbeing. That is, a grateful attitude can lead to increased wellbeing.

Gratitude is not the same as being indebted to someone. Gratitude can be expressed when one is thankful for things such as fair weather or good health.

Gratitude has been the focus of several world religions but here I would like to focus on the kind of gratitude that Warren Buffet speaks of when he says that he has won the ovarian lottery. Buffett says that by being born in a country like the U.S.A., that he had advantages offered to him that would not have been available to him in many other nations.

I feel the same about Canada as Buffett feels about the U.S.A. While I grew up without Medicare, I enjoyed a stable government and I had educational and other opportunities for which I am grateful.

On several occasions I asked our editors here at Maritime Law Book, if they could live anywhere in the world other than Canada, would they move – and not one person said they would move.

The wellbeing of the citizens of a nation is directly related to the quality of a nation’s government.

It is easy to criticize our governments. Restrictive laws and overspending are the object of much criticism. Such criticism has been going on for a long time. Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations in 1784 stated:

It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state. that of the subject never will.

Despite the budget problems of many Canadian governments I would find it difficult to choose another place to live and work. There are many aspects of Canadian life that compare favorably with other nations, and give rise to a feeling of thankfulness or gratitude.

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