Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

It’s that time of year again, Thanksgiving. When the family gets together and shows their appreciation over a meal of turkey, gravy and all the trimmings. We’re familiar with the setting, the women in the kitchen cooking, as the men stare intensely at some sporting event on tv. All the while as the children periodically question, “is it ready yet?” Ah yes, Thanksgiving.

This seems to be one of the few times a year when people show some appreciation, when gift giving is not involved. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-Turkey Day, I appreciate this holiday for what it does for people and families. Anything that produces togetherness and at the same time, a free meal…I’m all about that.

This year I would just like for people to really get the meaning of Thanksgiving. Though it has many questionable origins, the basis for Thanksgiving is the story of a tribe of Native American Indians helping the Pilgrims avoid starvation by teaching them to fish and work the land. The result being a huge harvest that they enjoyed together. Touching. Now that in itself would be a great story and reason to show thanks…but let’s look a little deeper.

Those Indians saw a group in trouble, and based upon their feelings of love, duty and responsibility they helped where they could. Often we find ourselves trying to help those in need, we feel that it’s the right thing to do, even for strangers we don’t know. The Pilgrims were clueless as how to survive, without assistance, they were doomed. As a result of their goodwill, the Pilgrims were not only able to survive, but thrive. Now that’s a reason to celebrate.

Many times in life we are the architect of our own demise. Through a series of decisions and actions, we systematically create the machine that will in the end, bring us down. The Indians had no idea that the very people they saved, would be the ones to do them in.

Once the Pilgrims reached a level of stability, more came. Bringing with them never before seen diseases and ideas that were forced on the Indians. Many perished due to new illnesses, where others were forced to abandon their ways and convert to Christianity. The very same people that saved the Pilgrims were now seen as a "problem". The end result was, a powerful, productive, and loving community was worn away to a sparse amount and relocated to minimal resources. Being kind doesn't trump being responsible. Take a good look at those you break bread with.

This isn’t designed to be a “downer” this is simply to bring light to this day and it’s true meaning. BE THANKFUL! Thankful for the decisions you make, the things you learn, the life you have. Appreciate the REAL people in your life. Understand that it’s not about the people that come to party with you, it’s about the ones that stay after to help you clean up.

So I want everyone to take some time today to celebrate your harvest; watch some football, laugh with your loved ones, and save me a drumstick.

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