Complaints and Complaints

The February edition of New English Review showcases Dr. Dalrymple’s visit to his local doctor’s office, which leads him to consider the topics of gratitude, the notion of progress, and freedom.

Naturally, I didn’t feel grateful either, although I thanked the doctor as I left her consulting room. There is no reason, after all, to feel gratitude when things work as they should. There is thus an asymmetry between complaint and gratitude: one complains when things don’t work as they should, but one feels no gratitude when they do. There is a similar asymmetry where human rights are concerned: you complain when they are violated but are not grateful for receiving your due.

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