Gratitude

8+

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.

8+

10
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Peter Sherman
Member
Peter Sherman

To Rusty, First I surmise that you’re a spiteful Cowboys fan and now you question the superiority of turkey stuffing to cornbread?

Yet I for one am grateful to discovering Epsilon Theory as I have come to truly appreciate the insight on markets AND life I get from both you and Ben (maybe especially Ben).
Keep up anywhere near the great work you both do and I’ll continue to be a grateful member

Happy Thanksgiving

3+
Mark Kahn
Member
Mark Kahn

A reset of our individual- and cultural-gratitude meters – increasing our truly sincere feelings of gratitude – would be a game changer.

My parents were big practitioners and instillers (in me) of gratitude. Sure, it’s a bit self serving coming from parents – “you don’t know how lucky you have it kid -” but having stared into the abyss of homelessness in the Great Depression as children – one’s family lost their modest home, another waited many nights to see if there’d even be food for dinner, for example – their belief in gratitude was deep and sincere.

With three of their four parents having come through Ellis Island (and, one, in one of those amazing American meldings, able to trace her roots back to the Mayflower), they had experienced prejudice in addition to poverty, but they loved and were grateful to America, their parents and grandparents and their extended family and friends. Somehow they came out of their early hardships not bitter (on most days), but deeply grateful for the – by today’s middle-class standards – modest lifestyle and opportunities they had later in life.

I am not at all unaware of the suffering in America or the world today, but by almost any historical measure, Americans are doing pretty darn well, overall. Hence, perhaps it is my upbringing, but I am shocked by the lack of gratitude seen so often and across such a wide-stretch of the American public.

How that is reset I don’t know – probably by the grass-roots tending to our own garden in the Voltaire sense that Ben and Rusty advocate is the start – but a cultural shift toward a more holistic feeling of gratitude would help, well, everything.

Rusty has his stuffing test for human acceptance, here’s mine. If you like a piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, I get it – I usually have one or two pieces today or, as leftovers, tomorrow as it’s part of the experience. But if you crave it, if you eat it not during the Thanksgiving holiday, if you deeply love it – hmm.

3+
Redcat
Member
Redcat

Substitute “pecan” for “pumpkin” and get a whole different reaction!

1+
Louis Burge
Member
Louis Burge

I’m grateful that you guys decided to start this project, that I can afford to support it, and for the unambiguous superiority of cornbread dressing.

It was awesome, I wish I could post a picture of it!

Happy Thanksgiving to the Pack!

Louis

3+
Kevin Remy
Member
Kevin Remy

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Epsilon Theory has had a significant impact on how I think about things. I read everything posted and I try to spread in my personal life the ideas and concepts I’m introduced to here. Thanks Rusty and Ben.
I’m happy and grateful to be a part of this journey.

1+
Redcat
Member
Redcat

Humility is a sufficient quality for expressing gratitude, though it is not necessary. But sincerely expressing gratitude regularly can nudge one into humility – all it takes is to remember to observe and to express thanks when warranted. So I suggest a New Year’s Resolution (not too early, is it?):

For at least 365 days this year, I will sincerely thank someone, in person, face-to-face, for something I appreciate in them – their service or comment or blouse or shirt or (especially) smile. If I have not done this on a particular day, I will mark it as an F on my publicly visible calendar (OK, kitchen calendar is acceptable).

In the writings of you and Ben, I sense true humility, born of thoughtful experience. For that I am today grateful.

Larry, the Redcat

1+

Disclosures

This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the market with certainty or guarantee future investment performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Statements in this communication are forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements and other views expressed herein are as of the date of this publication. Actual future results or occurrences may differ significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements, and there is no guarantee that any predictions will come to pass. The views expressed herein are subject to change at any time, due to numerous market and other factors. Epsilon Theory disclaims any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or views expressed herein.

This information is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities.

This commentary has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Epsilon Theory recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.