This Thanksgiving holiday, it’s very important that we take a moment to really think about how lucky we are to live in America.
It’s not that it’s a perfect country, because it isn’t. There are many imperfections we can point to and many divisions between us. And honestly, too many people are struggling to make ends meet.
But those conditions are present in every nation on the face of the earth - no exception. The key is to recognize that there are only a handful of countries in the world that have it nearly as good as we do.
The opportunities we have to improve ourselves and our lives are unrivaled. Nowhere else can the average person from even the lowliest of circumstances can reach as high as their drive and talent will take them.
Even other developed countries are struggling with stagnant economic growth, rising poverty, and even natural disaster hardships.
As I write this, Japan, which has had zero economic growth for the past two decades, has just suffered another big earthquake - an aftershock to the 2011 9.0 magnitude tremor that triggered a massive tsunami that killed hundreds and destroyed their Fukishima nuclear plant. Needless to say, no one there is likely to get a good night's sleep tonight, and many are questioning when the next one will hit.
China’s economy is also struggling. Over one billion people still remain in deep poverty, with no prospects for a better future, and China’s land, air and water pollution levels are literally off the scale.
Many Russians have also been suffering in difficult economic circumstances since the collapse of oil and natural gas prices and other factors.
Yes, there are problems all over the world and most offer very limited opportunities compared to what we have here in America.
Not only that, but we are blessed with a democracy that empowers people to usurp the incumbent regime if they feel their inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are not being maximized. That's a privilege reserved for a tiny minority of people living on this Earth.
As we all strive to provide better lives for ourselves and our families, it’s worth remembering a few things along the way…
As human beings, we strive for success; but success isn’t necessarily or properly measured in dollars. Money is a means to doing more, achieving more and helping more.
But who among us would measure the quality of our lives only according to what our bank statement says?
Not many of us, I would venture to say. It’s simply our good fortune, a blessing even, to have so many investment opportunities within our reach. It’s up to each of us to take advantage of them.
Finally, this Thanksgiving, let it fall upon each of us to do what we can to help those who are less fortunate than us, and to remember to give thanks for all our blessings. Gratitude, after all, doesn’t cost a thing, but pays so many dividends.