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Grateful for our Losses

By Dian Vujovich

For years the various churches and synagogues in Palm Beach have come together for an Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service. This year, Temple Emanu-El was the host. A nice turnout, I must say, with the priests, reverends and rabbis from all places of worship in town sharing in the morning service.

As is the order of the day, the regular surface kinds of grateful and thanksgiving things were addressed like to be grateful for your family and friends and food etc., etc., etc. But it was something Rabbi Michael Resnick said that particularly caught my ear when he reminded this audience of mixed-faiths that all of us are headed for losses.

He was, of course, speaking about the loss of the lives of our loved ones and of our self.

It was almost stunning to be so starkly reminded that on this day of counting blessings about the other—and equally as important—side to life’s thankful equation that’s not often openly talked about: Losses. Losses that may in fact carry a greater weight than blessings for without them there could be no gratitude. No thankfulness. No thanksgiving. It’s like, how would you know things were sweet if you hadn’t experienced something sour?

Slide that be-grateful-for-your-losses kind of thinking into the world of money and the same universal truth exists: Each of us becomes far wiser once we acknowledge that both sides of the ledger count and without losses there could be no gains. Or, without a scandal every now and then there would be no reviewing of our own ethics and values as well as those of the markets and the people we choose to do business with.

Bottom line: Without losses there could be no growth of gratitude for what we have or recognition—followed by thankfulness—of our bounty no matter its size.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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