A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.
—Marcus Tullius Cicero
To fail to experience gratitude when walking through the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum, when listening to the music of Bach or Beethoven, when exercising our freedom to speak, or as happened to us three week ago, to give, or withhold, our assent, is to fail to recognize how much we have received from the great wellsprings of human talent and concern that gave us Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, our parents, our friends. We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds.
—William F. Buckley, Jr., remarks at the Intecollegiate Studies Institute’s 35th Annual Dinner, November 29, 1988, reprinted in Let Us Talk of Many Things, 2000.