November 20th, 2012 |
On a bitterly cold day 392 Novembers ago, the storm-battered Mayflower dropped anchor off Cape Cod.
The winter of 1620 was devastating. Extreme cold, snow and sleet interfered with workers as they tried to construct their settlement. Of the 102 men, women and children that had survived the terrifying voyage across the Atlantic, fewer than 50 survived the first winter.
Whatever challenges most of us face today pale in comparison to the hardships those in Plymouth faced in 1620.
Which is one reason that, each year since 1961, The Wall Street Journal runs a Thanksgiving editorial.
Here’s an excerpt:
We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.
And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.
Let’s give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy.
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Business schools teach case studies. Hollywood blockbusters are inspired by true events.
Exceptional leaders are students of history. Decision-making comes with the territory.