The Bond, Betrayal, and Bountiful of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Reminds Me to Embrace, Appreciate, and Reciprocate Towards Bountiful Relationships



The story of Thanksgiving reminds us of the historical context and relationships between the pilgrims and Native Americans, threaded by loyalty and betrayal, trust and distrust.

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On September 16, 1620, a group of 102 people fled England to escape religious persecution. These pilgrims boarded a ship called the Mayflower. They sailed to America and arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on November 21, 1620.

Once in Plymouth, the Pilgrims were embraced by a Native American Tribe, the Wampanoag. The Wampanoag helped settlers build shelters in an abandoned village, Patuxet, next to theirs.

The pilgrims met Squanto, a Patuxet chief. Squanto spoke English, so the people of his village were able to teach the pilgrims how to plant, fish, hunt, and cultivate the land.  The villagers provided the settlers with seeds, tools, support, know-how, and resources to adapt to life in the wilderness.

One year later, in September 1621, the settlers were harvesting crops, fishing, hunting, and turning the deserted village into a beautiful community.

The settlers were beyond grateful to the Wampanoag people, and to demonstrate their gratitude and appreciation for the friendship and support, they prepared a feast. The two parties also signed a friendship treaty.

Unfortunately, when the Native Americans signed the treaty with the settlers, they had no concept of land ownership. Hence, the Wampanoag people felt betrayed when the European settlers claimed their land.

Worse yet, in 1637, when additional European pilgrims settled the land, they joined forces with other Native American tribes and massacred the Wampanoag tribe and the Pequots. Men were murdered, and the women and children were enslaved.

For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a reminder of betrayal and bloodshed.

In October 1777, after the colonization of America and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, all 13 colonies joined together to celebrate Thanksgiving.

In the 1800s, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday after being persuaded by the famous author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Sarah Josepha Hale. Lincoln designated the last Thursday in November as “a day of thanksgiving to praise our beneficent Father.”

Build Bonds Towards Bountiful Relationships and Make Your World a Better Place

Thanksgiving is a reminder to embrace, appreciate, and reciprocate to foster better relationships with oneself and others. When I was 23, I made a commitment to ‘know myself;’ anytime I caught myself saying ‘this is not good enough,” I’d rethink what would be good enough. With this principle at the core of my transformation, I have adapted three simple habits to develop and maintain bountiful relationships with myself and others:

Embrace friends, family, and strangers kindly regardless of their religion, race, gender, color, or characteristics that cannot be changed or are not within their control. Taking the time to learn about their background, motivation, interests, and character has helped me respect and compassion towards them.

Appreciate the virtues of people in our communities, corporations, and countries that advocate and fight for our human rights so we can enjoy personal freedom, liberties, and everything that we are blessed with.  Only a small percentage of people have the courage to fight for what is right!

Reciprocate with generosity to friends, family, and people who help and support us in meaningful ways. In the absence of reciprocity, there is limited continuity. Therefore, valuable exchange to the recipient infuses trust, confidence, and ensures authentic connectivity and continuity in our relationships.

 This holiday season, be intentional in your relationships.  In the spirit of thanksgiving, take the time to be grateful to people who extended themselves in supporting you with their wisdom, talents, gifts, and for being available to you when you needed them.

Here are a few ways to enlighten your Thanksgiving 

Is there anyone special that you are grateful to? Here are a few ways you can extend yourself to show gratitude:

  • Write a heartfelt note to someone special in your life that their actions has enriched your life
  • Send a gratitude gift with a heartfelt note to show meaningful reciprocity in exchange for their support, work, or help.
  • Post a shout out to celebrities, politicians, service people, known personalities for their contributions to our communities and country on social media.

We all have a voice. We all can count our blessings. We all can acknowledge how the contribution of others bless our life. Use your voice to embrace, appreciate, and reciprocate to bond and bountiful relationships.

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