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As Christmas and New Year’s Day quickly approach us, I have been thinking about this year, the stress that many people have been under and the incidents that make us wonder what caused someone to overreact in such a way. Whether in stores, on airplanes, or in our daily lives—I hope that as we approach this new year, we will step back and catch our breath and think about all the blessings in our lives. Yes, everything has not been perfect. We have lost friends to COVID. We have seen others lose their jobs and struggle to make ends meet.

I believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In my 40 years of the investment business, I have seen many things. And, one thing that I have seen over the years is the resilience of people. We do not give up, we persevere—through epidemics and war and political strife and natural disasters and economic collapse—through it all. If you have seen towns in Kentucky hit by the tornado, you have seen American Flags stuck in the ground to show the strength and resilience of the people there. But it is not just there that people are struggling. It is in our communities as well.

We would be wise to remember the words of Voltaire some 400 years ago: “Appreciation is a wonderful Thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”  Remember this when you are talking to the cashier at your favorite restaurant who’s overworked, the customer service worker at your favorite store who just had to deal with a bad customer, the receptionist at your doctor’s office who needs your insurance card for seemingly the tenth time this year, the knowledgeable specialist trying to interpret your gibberish into a solution to fix your phone, the waitress who’s returning the salad someone else made wrong, the manager attempting to train highschoolers how to work a day job. Make them feel appreciated for the work they do. Watch the smile come to their face as you make small talk with them and tell them thank you. So many of us don’t take the time to recognize the person opposite us in our lives. What about the rude one? What about the cashier with a tone? Don’t let them own you and ruin your day. Smile at them. Thank them for their work. Wish them a Merry Christmas. It’s hard to be a Scrooge when everyone around you appreciates you. Even if they continue to be, know that you are serving not only them and yourself in appreciating them, but the entire community. You will walk away with a warm glow for having tried to make a difference that person’s life. If each of us could do that for one person a day, how would it affect us all? Would we be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel? Would we be more willing to accept one another, despite economic, social, and political disagreements? Would we together better not only our community but our world?

I was going to write an article about what the economy was expected to do. But as I sat and thought about the economy, I realized that we are the economy, the country, and what will determine the direction of our world. I want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. God bless your family in 2022.

By: Billy Griggers

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

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