It's not that the economic values of a society necessarily must conflict with other social and spiritual values. Values that appear on first sight to be in conflict really do not compete to the extent that one limits their influence to their proper spheres. Economic values can help human advancement in the economic sphere. And other values drive human flourishing in other spheres. The ability to discriminate between the intellectual and emotional drivers of human behavior and enduring human value can perhaps enable those who have mastered the investment craft to understand and feel the immense value of what the parents of that child in Holland were creating in encouraging their little boy to tend to the grave of that fallen soldier. The value created through the observance of this tradition goes far beyond what can be gleaned from a calculus of the personal utility (economic or otherwise) obtained from that activity at that particular point in time.
Because of the intellectual and emotional demands of their trade, it is my belief that many investors are able, perhaps more than many others in today's age, to recognize the complex and intangible value created through proper observation of Memorial Day rituals. Based on this sort of knowledge, which comes as much from the head as from the heart, it is my hope that they will take action and devote the time and effort necessary to truly honor those who have died in battle in the service of their country, and in this way inculcate in their own children and those in their communities, the sorts of habits and moral sentiments that have enabled the creation and preservation of a wonderful civilization in America. Without this, it's greatness cannot long endure. At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.Follow @jameskostohryzThis article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.