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Giving Thanks: Gratitude is Latitude


With Thanksgiving upon us, we take a moment to humbly acknowledge the bounty of our blessings.


The greatest wisdom is bred as a function of pain. Given the painful strain of the last few years, it's time to reflect upon the wisdom of gratitude and the blessing of perspective as we edge into the holiday season.

It should never take something bad to make us realize we've got it good. I learned that lesson the hard way, staring deep into the abyss before forging a more fulfilling existence. The journey wasn't always easy but I'm quite certain that I'm a better man for it.

Everything happens for a reason and time is the arbiter of fate, even if we don't always understand why things happen as they do. With Thanksgiving upon us, I would like to take a moment to humbly acknowledge the bounty of my blessings, some of which have little to do with financial markets.

  • I'm thankful we have the ability to learn and the capacity to change.

  • I'm thankful for the rain for it allows us to appreciate the sun.

  • I'm thankful that the societal mindset is shifting from conspicuous consumption to austerity and philanthropy.

  • I'm thankful for my many failures as they've shaped who I am today.

  • I'm thankful for the perspective that 9/11 provided.

  • I'm thankful that the definition of professional nirvana is to doing what you love with people you respect while serving the greater good.

  • I'm thankful that we still have the ability to return to a free-market capital construct despite deep-rooted agendas and taxpayer-financed euphoria.

  • I'm thankful that my grandfather Ruby still guides me years after he passed, my grandmother still enjoys margaritas at the age of 89, my mother remains true to the wonderful person she is and my brother and his family enjoy good health.

  • I'm thankful for those who support The Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education and help shape the healers, leaders, and dreamers of tomorrow.

  • I'm thankful that some people believe their name and word still mean something and honesty, trust, and respect are the foundational constructs of any successful endeavor.

  • I'm thankful that Minyanland has helped 500,000 children better understand the building blocks of earning, spending, saving and giving.

  • I'm thankful for the things I've learned.

  • I'm thankful that I have an opportunity to learn more.

  • I'm thankful for the wisdom of Bennet Sedacca.

  • I'm thankful for the memories of Joel Pollack.

  • I'm thankful for good tunes and the laughter of little kids.

  • I'm thankful for summer sunsets and fall foliage.

  • I'm thankful for warm fires on winter nights.

  • I'm thankful for those who are part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

  • I'm thankful that folks finally understand that financial literacy is a life-long process.

  • I'm thankful that I can taste key lime pie.

  • I'm thankful for those who practice humility above hubris.

  • I'm thankful that I can feel cold sheets in a warm bed.

  • I'm thankful that I can still exercise even if I choose not to.

  • I'm thankful each and every time the Oakland Raiders win.

  • I'm thankful that mistakes become lessons if we choose to learn from them.

  • I'm thankful for each moment I share with Phoebe and every memory I have of Zoë.

  • I'm thankful for each and every day, even if some are better than others.

  • I'm thankful for friendships that withstand the test of time.

  • I'm thankful for the strength that allows me to shoulder hardships.

  • I'm thankful for those trying to effect positive change.

  • I'm thankful for those that lead by example.

  • I'm thankful for BLT Popovers and Frozen Hot Chocolates from Serendipity3.

  • I'm thankful that I've realized that the purpose of the journey is the journey itself.

  • I'm thankful that Minyanville was the second fastest growing financial website on the planet last year and Hoofy and Boo won an Emmy Award for New Approaches to Business and Financial Reporting.

  • And I'm thankful for the things I once took for granted.

  • I'm thankful that there are people who will read this column in the benevolent manner with which it is offered.

There's no denying we live in difficult times. With unemployment on the rise and societal acrimony on the prowl, it's easy to point fingers, place blame or long for what we want rather than appreciate what we've got.

The geopolitical landscape is the definition of fragility, seemingly one sneeze away from protectionism, isolationism or perhaps something worse.

The world, our choices and the roles we play can often feel over-whelming. The easy decision is to stand apart and burrow along, focusing on the single next step and hoping to arrive at a more prosperous destination.

Each of us is blessed to be in a position to take a stand, make our mark and do our part to effect a positive outcome; that is not to be squandered.

Society is a sum of the parts; as part of society, it's not only our right to question the status quo, it's our responsibility. That doesn't mean we should grab pitchforks and vilify our leaders; it simply means we should be heard, for there is strength in numbers and unity in benevolence.

And that, my friends, is something to be thankful for.


No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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