I am struck this Thanksgiving morning that there are three precious things we each possess which we may choose to give to others: our labor, our wealth and our attention.
I am grateful for the hundreds of thousands of you who have chosen to share some measure of these things with us.
This is my favorite holiday for many reasons, not all of which are gravy-related. As investors and citizens, we spend so much of our time preparing for and seeking to improve the future for ourselves, our clients and our children. There are few professions which so infrequently act in the present. We are forever looking to past analogs or to measure risk. We seek to uncover how behaviors manifested in asset price or to discover some trait of a company, and in so doing we look to predict the future. And yes, even when our predictions are only implicit, they are tacit projections of the world that will be.
Gratitude is different. Gratitude is always an act of the present.
Gratitude asks us to consider how much of what we are today and how much of what we have today are the result – if only in part – of the labor, wealth and attention of others. Ben and I are fond of saying that there is no easy path to resolution, no panacea for the widening gyre of our politics today. Yet if there were such a path, I believe it would begin with the conscious replacement of resentment, cynicism, anger and entitlement with gratitude.
So thank you.
Except for those of you who will serve wet dressing/stuffing instead of the unambiguously superior cornbread texture dressing today. I’m really not sure about y’all.