Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Check out today's podcast for more about why I love this holiday and some of our family traditions!
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JOSH KLOOZ, CFP®, MBA
1780 Hughes Landing | Suite 570
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Music by bensound.com
to this week's episode of Wisdom and Wealth, but tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I figured that I would take a break from our traditional financial planning focus topics and talk to you about Thanksgiving. I wanted to let you all in on a little bit of our family tradition. So, as part of our family tradition for Thanksgiving and there are many I like to read a few different documents and a few different short snippets of history around the origin of Thanksgiving, and I find that it's helpful because it grounds us in the idea of you know that this is at play the idea of gratitude, and what better way to become grateful about your heritage and the day that you're partaking in than to understand its history? And so we accomplished this in my household by reading a few documents, and so the first is the. The account of Governor Bradford of getting on the boat to come over to the colonies, and that account of the night prior and the trip there is really captivating and it's best captured. The best piece of it is captured every year in the Wall Street Journal by a. They put it in as an editorial piece the day before Thanksgiving, and it was the first place I had caught it and it's excellent. The next piece that I look at is Governor or, excuse me, president, washington's first proclamation for Thanksgiving, and then also I look at a last editorial called that believes, the Fair New Land from the Wall Street Journal. They've been, incidentally, running the same editorial piece for the last gosh, I think it's 50 or 60 years in the Wall Street Journal every Wednesday before Thanksgiving. So we do this primarily because I believe it's important in our family to remember why we're celebrating and to have some gratefulness within the origins of the idea of Thanksgiving and, frankly, how this holiday is rooted in gratitude. It's always been probably my favorite family holiday, even from a kid, before I even really fully understood what went into it, not to mention that it's probably the best national holiday. But the reason we read Bradford's story of what went into leaving the old world behind and coming to what would one day become the United States is in the account he talks about them leaving laden. I think it's easy for us in our modern world to forget that there were no guarantees whatsoever for the pilgrims getting on the Mayflower and coming over to the United States. When we think back, we reflect why we as Americans are builders, risk takers, entrepreneurs, dreamers. It starts there the culture of our nation starts in no small part even there. Furthermore, I find that it's helpful to remember that the pilgrims had no idea what they were coming to. They simply got here and they got busy building so that one day they hoped that they could build a better future for their descendants and for themselves. They did the ordinary things, first and foremost. The other piece that I find that it's helpful to do is to read, you know, governor Bradford's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, his original Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, because he is grateful to the Lord for his provision, and I at this point try to remind my family of the fact that almost 50% of the original pilgrims died, didn't even make it past the first winter. It was a pretty horrific experience. It was a pretty challenging time, to put it mildly, for them, but they made it through and they continued to move forward. I don't know how you could not be grateful looking back on that. The other piece that I'll remind my family of is that Governor Bradford's wife drowned in the early days. She fell overboard from Mayflower and drowned in those first few months of them being here. I think this gives us an idea of just how unlikely our history here as Americans was as a beginning point. You know, if you were to reverse roles and look back and look at a similar enclave in a day's society, you should look at them and you'd say, no, there's no way that's going to happen, it's just, it's improbable. But yeah, here we are. The dream became a reality. I don't know how you could look back on something that was that improbable and that painstaking and required that much of a group of people and not be grateful for the sacrifices that they made and what they overcame. Next we read President Washington's initial address and his initial proclamation for Thanksgiving, because again, it's anchored in gratitude, the blessings bestowed on us by our Creator and gives a sense of hopefulness, not just for based off what we've been given, but what we hope we can do for our heirs and our neighbors as well. It's interesting that the President looked at it and said, hey, we need prayer for fulfilling our obligations to our fellow man in all phases of life, whether it be government or private. We're blessed and therefore we want to turn around and bless our neighbors. I don't know about you, but if anyone was intimately aware of our nation's shortcomings and it's unlikely nature of becoming a reality, it was trust in Washington. It brings a tear to your eye when you think about all the things that that man witnessed, all the things that he overcame. Even when failure seemed imminent, he never quit and he kept on moving and he kept on striving. The point of taking my family through this exercise is hopefully to begin setting the groundwork in place for why they should be grateful for what has been given to them. Also, I want them to have a sense of responsibility and wait for what they've been given and to pass that on into the future. Much has been given to us and we desire to give that rich heritage on to our friends and our neighbors going forward. I've heard it said that America is an idea. I think that it's partly true. There's many more things in line than that is an idea. It is also a set of beliefs, but the fact the matter is that anyone from around the world, as long as they adhere to those ideas, those principles and those beliefs, can be a part of this experiment we call America, and we are the longest self-governing body to date. I also find that it is that this sense of obligation that comes with wanting to steward our responsibilities well and wisely is helpful and it's healthy when we as a society are tempted to turn our heads toward the carnival barkers on cable news and they begin selling you the doom and the gloom in you know, all of the things that are wrong with the world. I want you to remember that our history is an unlikely history. Our history is one of normal people doing the normal things in front of them for no other reason than they just wanted to be found faithful. They just wanted to be found willing to do what was necessary to serve their neighbor. I believe it's important to remember that the people that came before us believed in their, in their future, in their children's future, regardless of of what was going on around them and, frankly, they probably didn't see a lot of future, but they had the faith to move forward. All those around us that are willing to sell us despair or confusion and outrage in order to, you know, get small-dollar fundraising or attention for ad principles or ad reasons, I find it's helpful just to remind ourselves of the, just the basic facts that could even be measured on. You know sites like human progressorg, where you find the fact of the matter is, life here is pretty good in our modern world. We live in a relatively peaceful time. The world has never had such an abundant food supply at this point in life. Poverty is at an all-time low and while we still have room to grow and room to to build, these are all great moves in the in the past decades. To be sure, the fact of the matter is, if you could choose any time period to live in, you'd be hard-pressed not to choose this specific time period. Thanksgiving is a great way to remember all of these fundamental truths. It's good to remind each other of these things periodically. So as you look around your table, remember as I always try to remind folks of the incredible wealth that is represented there. Remember it's rich, it's meaningful, and one of the facts that makes it so meaningful is that it can't truly be measured. The love and support and care that is found around your Thanksgiving dinner table. Lord willing, you'll have many years left to experience that, I can tell you. As I look around my Thanksgiving table, I can't help but just be reminded of God's faithfulness, his kindness, his favor to me and each one represented there. He is so good to me. Each of the faces there are a gift that I feel a privilege and a weight that I get to know them and I get to serve them. I'm blessed to be helping to provide for their future and to equip them. My world gets bigger when I try to enlarge their own world and enlarge their own view. Helping them figure out how, why they are put on this earth and how they can best serve, is one of the most important things and one of those meaningful experiences that I've been blessed with in this earth. As I think about the client families that I serve, I am humbled and grateful for the faith and trust that you've placed in me and in our team. That faith and trust gives me an incredible amount of purpose, and helping guide you through the different questions of life is a responsibility that I hold dear and forever purposeful. It's a privilege. So, as you think through your Thanksgiving Day, I want you to reflect back on all that has been given to you, all that has been sacrificed for you and your family, and take heart in that and remember why it is that we do what we do. Please know, as always it goes without saying, you know in the in the, our family wishes your family continue truth, beauty and goodness on the road ahead. Happy Thanksgiving, have a great week.