Happy Thanksgiving! Really? I have heard more than one person say they are really looking forward to having this year in the books! Many have experienced heartache over the loss of their health – a job – a business – a loved one . . . and more. The question to ask is, “In the midst of these trying times, is there anything to give thanks for?” I believe the answer is a resounding “Yes!” . . . “Imagine That™”!
History of Our Thanksgiving Heritage
No doubt you already know this . . . but I “rediscovered” that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in the New World in 1621 at Plymouth Plantation, which is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was a three-day feast to celebrate the Pilgrim’s first harvest in the New World – and that they had actually survived the hostile conditions of a Massachusetts winter. In fact, only 57 of the 102 brave-hearted immigrants aboard the Mayflower survived the first winter.
Later, in 1863, during the height of the American Civil War, Thanksgiving became a national holiday when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Times Have Changed Since the First Thanksgiving
Times sure have changed since the first Thanksgiving, and even since the Civil War. The harvest no longer has the significance it once had since we no longer are an agrarian society. Instead, we simply drive over to our nearby supermarket and “battle” over getting the last turkey (at least while kinks in the supply chain continue to affect us.)
Kidding aside, despite COVID-19 – supply chain shortages – rising gas and food prices – and other challenges, there are still many blessings to be seen in our lives and for all those living in this country. Thanksgiving itself is one of the least commercialized holidays remaining in the U.S. – for which I am “thankful.” No need to buy and exchange presents and so forth. We can, instead, focus on family, friends, (for some – football), a home-cooked meal and on things for which each of us can be grateful. Despite the current challenges causing “disruptions” to large-scale celebrations, many families and friends will, none-the-less, this year gather in person and pause to give thanks.
What I Am Grateful For . . .
Thanksgiving gives us a marker to step back and reflect on all we can be grateful for. Simply waking up in America, for example, puts virtually all of us in the upper 6% of the world’s wealth. Most of us know where to obtain a hot meal and shower – clothing – clean water to drink – shelter and sleep without fear of unlawful arrest. Billions in the world, on the other hand, are without even these simple things we so commonly take for granted. In America, we have been given so much – and have been given opportunities to achieve so much more.
In 2021, we are especially grateful for our brave men and women still serving on the frontlines of this health crisis. Risking their lives to serve others is one of the fundamental touchstones of this country. Add to this our faithful police, firefighters, military, and social workers . . . who serve and protect us daily for little to no fanfare. We are surrounded by quiet heroes. We are thankful, too, for the teams of brilliant scientists who developed vaccines in record time. While many have chosen not to get “the jab,” at least we all have the option available.
As every year, we at Wealth Legacy Group®, Inc. reflect upon the blessing of doing what we do professionally. We have extraordinary clients we are privileged to serve along with various allied professionals. Our wonderful “tribe” at WLG has grown to seven, and I count it a special honor to lead them in our mission of service. Helping clients grow, identify and achieve a lasting, positive legacy within their family, business, and the world at large – it simply doesn’t get better than this!
On a more personal note, this year as always, I am especially grateful for my amazing wife and Chief Operating Officer for Wealth Legacy Group®, Inc., Vymean – our boys and their wonderful life partners – our extended family and now our grandson, Niko. Our grandson has brought us more joy and laughter than I ever dreamed possible.
Conclusion – Give Thanks Every Day
Mentor to many, Ken Blanchard, asks . . . “What would you have in your life tomorrow if the only things tomorrow were the things you gave thanks for today?” Now that I have listed some things for which I am thankful, how about you? What are some things in your life for which you can give thanks? How about writing out 5-10 things to give thanks for, and then drop them into a jar to pull out one a day? This is a new habit I started last year . . . and keep adding new things to the jar . . . at least one thing every day.
Developing a spirit of gratitude is not only “infectious” in a good way, but studies also show it actually adds years of life! Thankful people, overall, live longer according to various longevity studies. Not only that, many would agree that they are also happier and have more meaningful lives. So, why not set aside some specific time to reflect on the past year and what – and whom – you may be thankful for this year.
Speaking of being happier, here is a Thanksgiving joke sure to bring groans . . .”Why did the cranberries turn red? Because they saw the turkey dressing!” I know . . . pretty bad!
In closing, let’s find ways to give thanks every day as we cope with whatever we face in 2022 and beyond. Being thankful every single day . . . “Imagine That™”!
Imagine That™! is a complimentary monthly newsletter provided by Wealth Legacy Group®, Inc. that addresses various topics of interest for high-net-worth and high-income business owners, professionals, executives and their families. Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter here.
R. J. Kelly, Wealth Legacy Group®, Inc. – November 2021
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