The Bond, Betrayal, and Bountiful of Thanksgiving
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.”
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.