Many reasons to be thankful

Research shows the more tumultuous the year, the more we have to be thankful for and that human beings, rather than turning cynical, have historically endured, adapted, recovered and moved ahead with new hope.

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Columnists

November 24, 2021 - 9:23 AM

Lady Gaga’s ongoing musical partnership with Tony Bennett, age 95, warms the heart. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

This Thanksgiving, what can we possibly have to be grateful for in a year marked by forest fires of unprecedented size and destructiveness in the West; a pandemic that has killed over 770,000 Americans; and an attack on the Capitol in Washington by a violent mob intent on overturning our democratic election?

Yet, according to Rutger Bregman’s “Humankind,” the more tumultuous the year, the more we have to be thankful for. As research detailed in his book shows, human beings, rather than turning into cynical, hopeless savages following wars and other catastrophes, have historically always endured, adapted, recovered and moved ahead with renewed hope.

“Most people, deep down, are pretty decent,” Bregman writes.

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