Since our kids were little our Thanksgiving tradition was to head to Hawaii with friends and eat Thanksgiving dinner under the palm trees to the sound of the waves next to the warm ocean. (Imu turkey can’t be beat if you’re trying to exceed any rational amount of salt intake.) This year, with the kids grown, their choice was to fly up from Southern California and spend the holidays at our ranch. My brother and sister in-law, niece and nephew are here, and we’re all going to spend Thanksgiving morning creating a new tradition - an extended family scavenger hunt that will take us across the ranch trails. Hopefully we won’t run into any wildlife bigger than us (other than our assortment of rattlesnakes, rabbits, deer, bobcats, wild boar, and mountain lions). Our friends who run the state park surrounding our ranch will join all of us for Thanksgiving dinner.
So no post today on entrepreneurship, Secret History of Silicon Valley, Customer Development, Lean Startups, etc. Just a reflection on my family and hopes for our children.
A Few Thoughts for Thanksgiving
- On this day it’s hard not to be grateful and give thanks for the things that matter – family, friends, our health, and feel blessed for all the things that have come to us. It’s harder to remember that we have no perpetual rights to them, they aren’t our due, but they’re gifts. We try our best to give back to our community and country and always wonder – is it enough?
- We’ve taken the kids to enough places in the world to realize the United States still remains a country of opportunity and hope. For all its flaws, America is still a beacon of liberty and justice. My parents were immigrants who came through Ellis Island with nothing but the clothes on their backs – but they believed in the American dream. They worked hard their entire lives so their children could have a better life. Each year I teach hundreds of students from around the world who come to America to pursue their version of this same dream.
- This year as American families face economic hardships, (one out of eight Californian’s are unemployed,) we remember that as a nation we are still a generous people, willing to share and give to others less fortunate then ourselves – both at home and abroad. I hope we managed to teach our children compassion and charity for others. And as they find their own way in life, they will continue to give back to others.
- I’m grateful to those who serve our country and remember that people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. I hope our children remember that freedom needs to be earned and that they too find their way to serve their country.