header photo

Project Vision 21

Transforming lives, renewing minds, cocreating the future

Blog Search

Blog Archive


There are currently no blog comments.

Time to give thanks to our fate, and not for our friends?

The famous Thanksgiving Day is celebrated this week in the United States and, leaving aside any explanation about its origins and customs, it is clear that this year an element of that celebration has changed: Latinos no longer give thanks to God or for their friends. Actually, they do, but not at the same level as before.

According to a recent national survey published by LifeWay Research, Latinos in the United States are the group that is least grateful for their friends. Only slightly more than half of Latinos express that appreciation, compared to three out of four people in other groups who are grateful for their friends.

But perhaps the most important change compared to previous years is that Latinos are the group most likely to thank fate, and not God or family, for what happens to them or for what they have accomplished.

In fact, on a general level (regardless of the group in question), the family has displaced God from the first place on the list of whom one is grateful. In the context of the current pandemic and after a long stay-at-home time, it makes sense to feel closer to family members. 

But among a significant number of Latinos, and more so than in any other group, neither family nor God tops that list, but fate.

That choice of who (or what) to be grateful to in the first place and above any other person or entity could be analyzed and explained in numerous ways, obviously including the well-known fatalism that has been a part of mindset, actions, and decisions of Latinos for centuries throughout the Americas.

It could also be said that the decision in 2020 to thank fate arises from the arrival of a pandemic that seems to arise and arrive almost on a whim and impersonally, that is, in the same way in which, it is believed, fate acts. In other words, we are where we are because fate wanted it, even if fate cannot really want anything.

But there is another possible explanation: understanding "fate" in the sense of one of the constitutive pillars of Western culture (if there is a “Western culture”) that now, feeling that culture is collapsing, seeks to recover to give it back. solidity to something that staggers and is about to fall.

Two and half millennia ago, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus taught that, "for the human beings, their character is their fate." Here, "character" is "ethos," the Greek word that later gives us "ethics." And fate is "daimon", which has nothing to do with the demon, means the "true self" or the "higher self".

For Heraclitus, therefore, the most human “thing” about human beings (anthropos) is to establish a way of life, a dwelling (ethos) that allows us to connect with our true selves (daimon) and live according to that connection. In other words, our "fate" is to become what we already are.

Perhaps that is why we should give thanks for those who still thank fate.

Go Back