What kind of Memorial Day tribute are you going to have this year? Barbecues? A day at the beach or park? Shopping and sales? That’s what Memorial Day means to some of us. It’s easy to forget about the true meaning behind the holiday…at least it is for me.
I don’t spend nearly enough time appreciating the people who serve our country. I don’t often think about the sacrifices they and their families make.
I’m ashamed to admit it, but sometimes I forget about the fallen. Memorial Day gives me a wonderful opportunity to correct that – at least for a day and hopefully much longer. Based on my Mother’s Day idea of imposing a boycott, you may be surprised to find me gushing about this holiday…but they are very different days.
Mother’s Day has taken on an unfortunate tone. “Show Momma how much you love her by spending as much as you can on her.” Thank the National Retailers Association for that one. Memorial Day does have its “buy more junk” side, but the magnitude of what our soldiers did and do for our country dwarfs that shallow pitch. What has any of this got to do with personal finance? Plenty.
Memorial Day reminds me that there are a lot more important things than money.
To say that money isn’t the most important issue may seem strange coming from me. When you start off as a financial advisor, they teach that money is all that matters. I don’t see any conflict at all. Money is what can help you achieve the most important things in life, but other than that, it has no meaning. That idea is the very essence of WealthPilgrim.com.
I’ll admit that it’s easy to forget this truth. I get caught up in the day-to-day and lose sight of the big picture. That’s why I love this holiday…it reminds me to stay “awake.”
Memorial Day reminds me that I’ve got it pretty good.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not planning on spending my day dodging “incoming” or looking out for IEDs (improvised explosive devices). I don’t sleep on a dirt mattress or use a helmet for a pillow. I get to hug my wife and kids whenever I want to.
And let’s not forget another biggie…I woke up this morning. Life is good…no…scratch that…life is great.
Sure I can always improve my financial situation. Sure I want to make more money, but I’ve got nothing to complain about. Nothing. Thinking about what our soldiers go through, I should be ashamed of myself if I complain about anything. Especially if I complain about money.
Memorial Day reminds me that it’s not all about me.
Our soldiers risk and give so much, and I can learn from their example.
If I have the opportunity to be of service to somebody else…I owe it to those soldiers to do it. It’s one way of saying thanks…isn’t it? It’s a very small way to honor what they do. Their continued selflessness is a great example for me to follow. It’s not about getting as much for myself as possible.
Memorial Day reminds me that I have responsibilities.
I have a responsibility to G-d, my family, community and country. I also have a responsibility to myself to be the best I can be. It’s not about hoarding as much money as I can. It’s about being responsible with the resources I have to make a positive impact on the world I live in and the people I am lucky enough to have in my life.
I love this day. It pays tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It is also a gentle reminder to cherish and respect those who continue to serve our country every day. And if that isn’t enough, this day encourages me to be a little better. To stay focused on the things that really matter. To appreciate how good life is. To remember that it isn’t all about me and to live up to my responsibilities.
How about you? What does Memorial Day mean to you?