Last week for Thanksgiving, we all took a break from our hectic lives to reflect on our many blessings. Despite the divisiveness that permeates our society, the United States of America remains the greatest nation on earth, ever. We worry that our differences are polarizing, yet we have witnessed another election where we the people chose our political leaders peacefully. There were no car bombings, social unrest or military insurrections, that are so common in other countries around the globe.
In the United States, we are free to travel anywhere we choose and can afford. We are free to succeed on our own merits, and we are free to fail. We are free to express our religious beliefs, as we are called. We are free to speak and to write without fear of reprisal. We are free to raise arms in our own defense.
For all of these freedoms and the good fortune of being Americans, we give thanks. These freedoms, however, came at a high price. Far too many of our forefathers lost lives or shed blood so that we could enjoy our contemporary lifestyle. Still today, hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens put on military uniforms every day to defend our freedoms. They risk their lives to uphold our nation’s founding principles and doctrines — the foundation for our freedoms. For all of these people, many of whom are our children and grandchildren, we give thanks.
We all have problems to face in our business dealings and personal lives and, yes, they are important. But particularly at this time of year, it is equally important to sit back, put our problems into perspective, and count our blessings. Most of us have jobs, nice homes and food on the table. For that we give thanks.
In banking circles, several issues weigh heavily on our minds. We wrestle with the Basel III capital accord, implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act and the future of the financial services industry. We work hard to grow our banks and reward our shareholders, employees and communities. Yet we do it all in a country that gives us the right to petition our government and to have a voice in how issues are resolved. For that we give thanks.
As for me, I am thankful for all of the above, plus the singular joy of serving so closely with the finest group of people I have ever known – the Indiana banking community.