From our family to yours - Happy Thanksgiving, 2008!
You know, for a few years now, I have quoted today's headline from Barry Levinson's memorable 1990 film, "Avalon."
The film tells the story of a middle class family, whose patriarch came to Baltimore from Eastern Europe before the First World War, and retells his story, endlessly, to younger generations of his family each Thanksgiving Day. The movie is set primarily in the late 1940's.
Thanksgiving is a strictly American holiday (no slight to you Canadians - I know you celebrate a Day of Thanks each year as well, in October). It's a feast day not observed in Europe or other countries.
So when grandmother Eva Kirchinsky (Joan Plowright) asks that question of her assembled family at Thanksgiving Dinner, it's here son, a thirty-something Jules (Aidan Quinn) who provides the answer -
"You give thanks for what you've got!"
For some, however, this year is an exceedingly tough one. Jobs have been lost by the thousands - perhaps, yours, or that of one close to you. The real estate market has taken a tumble. It's tougher to get a loan - personal, mortgage, or business. Gas prices have returned to earth for now, but will they stay that way? Food prices higher.
And most feel, despite the feelings of hope coming with the new Obama Administration coming to power in January, the fix will not be quick.
These days, it's easy to get a little blue focusing on things you do not have. But look at what you DO have - and, please, be thankful for it.
Consider these six-
1. We live in a country where, despite increased vigilance, the threat of terrorism is not a daily part of our lives. We pray for the victims and their families reeling from the terrorist attacks in India over the last day, and our very grateful such hellish scenes, although very clear on September 11, 2001, are not entrenched here.
2. We enjoy an election process which is open and fair, which sparks hot, fierce debate. There are few countries on earth where this is the case.
3. We have friends, and families, who love us very much. Although many of us go through difficult times in our lives, a comparative few go hungry each day.
4. We have good health. Of course, some of us suffer serious, painful health issues. But we have the world's best medical care to help you heal. Again - where else can you go on the planet where the same claim can be made?
5. We interact with colleagues and business associates who appreciate our contributions each day, as well as a system for bettering ourselves, no matter our beginnings. This year's Presidential Elections, no matter for whom you voted, are testimony to that. And the business associations we in the Real Estate Profession form in the Active Rain and Localism Communities are unique, and priceless!
6. We have history, and hope. As Americans, we have survived hard times, and world wars. Dangerous weather, and economic uncertainty. These hardships all come and go. But eventually, they go!
Several of our clients this year have been impacted profoundly and directly in the struggling housing market here in Chicago. Whether through their own earlier poor judgment, or just bad luck, virtually everyone has lost much of the equity in their homes, and a good portion of their life savings, during the past year. Much of our business in 2008 has involved clients having to sell their property for less than what they owe on their mortgage, or who have fallen victim to home foreclosure.
Those buying a new home has seen their buying power eroded, due to depleted savings, as well as the reduced equity of their current home.
Others have had to deal with loss of a loved one, or a bitter divorce. Of course, these adversities happen regardless of the economy, but, this year, they seem to have hit even harder emotionally.
However, despite the adversities, we will survive, and be stronger for the experience. So, please, folks - hang in there!
"Give thanks to whom?" Really, give thanks for what you've got. And you still have a lot to be thankful for!
Enjoy the holiday - be safe, be grateful, and be happy!
DEAN and SUE MOSS,
BUDDY HOLLY and GRACIE MOSS,
The Bartosiewicz's and the Moss's,
The Ardito's, the Archand's, the Zech's,
The Mallers's and the Eck's
& DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO