I want to wish every member of the 1871 community and all of our friends and supporters across the city and the country a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving. I hope that each of you gets a chance to relax and to spend some time over the holiday with people you love or, if that doesn’t work out for you, with your family who – as the wise men say – have no choice but to take you in and feed you.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, which says a lot because I'm not exactly a holiday kind of guy. I hope that information doesn't come as too much of a surprise to any of you. But I love Thanksgiving because it seems to be the holiday least-touched by our typical advertising culture and crass commercialism. Basically there are no commercial, patriotic, or religious overtones (other than those pumpkin and turkey guys who are somewhat pushy). Not, I would hasten to add, that there's anything wrong with the other major holidays, but, as a society, we seem to want to exaggerate and exploit them rather than enjoy them, and thus we segregate and divide ourselves on some of the other holiday occasions rather than coming together. Right now, the basic Thanksgiving idea that we gather with friends and family to celebrate the harvest and the many blessings we all enjoy remains a pure notion. We rake leaves (but don’t burn them), eat good food (and way too much), toss a football around (until the first cramp)...and basically share our simple pleasures.
Thanksgiving (with a small “t”) is something we can all do individually and together and something we should all do from time to time on our own behalf and for those close to us as well. And we should spend a few minutes thinking about those folks across this country and in our own backyards that are not as fortunate as we are and about how we can each help to make their lives a little better. And, last but not least, we should remember all of our active armed services men and women and their families as well as our veterans.
We have much to be thankful for at 1871. We're not exactly Camelot yet, but we're moving forward every single day and getting a very big job done and done well. With the support and help of a great number of others, we have expanded 1871 2.0 over the last year and, as we look forward, we can see an explosively exciting and expansive future. It takes a vital and vibrant community to create and sustain any successful enterprise and we see every day the consummation of the vision that J.B. Pritzker had years ago to create and bring together such a community here at 1871.
Even more importantly, our member companies are doing all kinds of wonderful, valuable and creative work which simply confirms the faith that we have all had in their passion, commitment and ability. The proof, especially around this time of year, really is in the pudding. Committed companies making a real difference in people’s lives create the opportunities, changes and jobs that will drive the new tech economy and continue to help build our city.
And, while I am a great and longtime believer in the power of the "rugged individual" (the great American persona), I believe even more strongly in the powers and capabilities of a dedicated group. A team that works together can move any mountain. No one today really accomplishes much of anything alone, and, as we’ve continually seen over the last two years, the concerted individual efforts of concerned and committed people can bring about momentous changes – sometimes overnight – and other times after decades of strife and struggle. At 1871, we’re assembling, growing and expanding our own team and recruiting more talented individuals to it every day and this process is creating an energy that shows and that I think new visitors (and even old-timers) sense as they enter the place. I couldn’t be prouder of our team or of their intelligence, professionalism, and passion.
So, on behalf of everyone here and all the members of our Board as well, but also very much personally from me, thank each and every one of you for all that you do for our great city and for 1871. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.