What is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a day of celebration for all of us in America. However, Thanksgiving is more than a day, it is a word that finds its origins in gratitude and the act of giving grateful thought.

This past weekend, Beth and I were blessed to have 8 of our 10 children home for the Notre Dame/Navy game. It was an early Thanksgiving for us. One of our children shared that she and her husband put a tablet on the wall in their home where they would list things they were thankful for. Through doing this they were filled with gratitude for the blessings they had.

One of my associates here at Healy Group recently was at a conference in Austin, Texas, where she heard Shawn Achor give a talk. She spoke highly of him and believed he was a great speaker. I took a few minutes to listen to his Ted Talk. He recommended that we list 3 things we are grateful for over the course of 21 days.

Another associate of mine recently traveled to Chicago to hear a well-known pastor speak. My associate shared how the pastor spoke on the topic of cynicism and how easy it is to feel hopeless in this world. The pastor told the audience that cynicism robs us of our joy and that the antidote to cynicism is gratitude; or giving thanks.

Gratitude Can Change Our Perspective

These three encounters with people close to me have been helpful as I reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving. Becoming cynical is not difficult. Giving thanks and showing gratitude can change our perspective. Cynicism is a choice. It enables us to enter a situation and pass judgement on it. It involves no risks. Cynicism allows us to hold life at a distance so we won’t get hurt.

Gratitude, on the other hand, takes more effort. It involves opening our eyes to the goodness around us and the goodness in others. Our founder, Ed Healy, used to say, “I didn’t like that person until I got to know him”. When we find ourselves being negative, we must choose positivity. Gratitude is the answer.

One of the most important things we do here at Healy Group is our Shout Out session at our company breakfast meetings. It is a time for people to recognize the wonderful things they see their co-workers doing that often go unnoticed. People are recognized for their efforts and goodness they bring to the table. Many leave with a feeling of deep happiness.

While you are around your Thanksgiving table this year share what you are thankful for over the last year. Share something about a person at the table you are thankful for. Moreover, a daily act of kindness or note of gratitude to someone goes beyond the Thanksgiving table. Thanksgiving is not just a day, but a way of life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

About the Author:

Healy Group President

F. Richard (Rich) Preuss, Jr.

Rich, the President and an Owner of Healy Group, has been a financial advisor for over 37 years. His overarching goal in his work with his clients is to help them connect their money to their values. He believes that his work with his clients isn’t just about rates of return, asset allocation, and maximizing wealth; it is about helping them create a better life for those they love and creating a better world.