Only two days after Thanksgiving did I remember this wonderful passage on gratitude from The Brothers Karamozov:

This legend is about Paradise. There was, they say, here on earth a thinker and philosopher. He rejected everything, ‘laws, conscience, faith,’ and, above all, the future life. He died; he expected to go straight to darkness and death and he found a future life before him. He was astounded and indignant. ‘This is against my principles!’ he said. And he was punished for that… he was sentenced to walk a quadrillion kilometers in the dark… and when he has finished that quadrillion, the gates of heaven would be opened to him and he’ll be forgiven–“

… Well, this man, who was condemned to the quadrillion kilometers, stood still, looked round and lay down across the road. ‘I won’t go, I refuse on principle!’ Take the soul of an enlightened Russian atheist and mix it with the soul of the prophet Jonah, who sulked for  three days and nights in the belly of the whale, and you get the character of that thinker who lay across the road.”…

“Bravo!” cried Ivan, still with the same strange eagerness. Now he was listening with an unexpected curiosity. “Well, is he lying there now?”

“That’s the point, that he isn’t. He lay there almost a thousand years and then he got up and went on.”…

“Well, well, what happened when he arrived?”

“Why, the moment the gates of Paradise were open and he walked in, before he had been there two seconds, by his watch (though to my thinking his watch must have long dissolved into its elements on the way), he cried out that those two seconds were worth walking not a quadrillion kilometers but a quadrillion of quadrillions, raised to the quadrillionth power! In fact, he sang ‘hosannah’ and overdid it so, that some persons there of lofty ideas wouldn’t shake hands with him at first–he’d become too rapidly reactionary, they said. The Russian temperament. I repeat, it’s a legend. I give it for what it’s worth.”

You can read this passage in many ways.  But my favorite is this: One of the best paths to both truth and happiness is to learn to be grateful to be proven wrong.