Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving : truth & consequence

Last year's Thanksgiving post by wonder | wander | women seems so very far away and removed from the world we live in today.

So much has happened in the intervening year, much of which has left us astonished and astounded, bemused and bewildered, righteous and raging. A world where much has dimmed and dulled.

Shaken and stirred in this stormy wilderness, we are constantly challenged to stand strong and be a beacon, to shine fiercely with love in the face of much ugliness and devastation.

Thanksgiving history is a fine mirror of our current situation. The story of American origins and the consequences of their survival is worth remembering well and always.

Folks persecuted for their beliefs, flee their homes and country, striking off into the unknown, braving all for a better life and brighter future.

Landing in the New World, toughened by their rough crossing and extreme deprivation, what do you suppose these pioneering settlers experienced as they first set foot here?

How enlightened or ignorant were their outlook and perspective? 

"The Pilgrims" chronicles the deep history, origins, and critical first decade of the first permanent English colony in New England. 

The challenges the Pilgrims faced in making new lives for themselves still resonate almost 400 years later: the tensions of faith and freedom in American society, the separation of Church and State, and cultural encounters resulting from immigration.

Every schoolchild in the United States has been taught that the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony invited the local Indians to a major harvest feast after surviving their first bitter year in New England. 

But the real history of Thanksgiving is a story of the murder of indigenous people and the theft of their land by European colonialists--and of the ruthless ways of capitalism.

Why such entitlement reigned supreme may be the root of why we find ourselves here today.

In celebration of the massacres that preceded this day of thanks throughout history, we are grateful for the world we live in now - flawed and imperfect as it is, we remain engaged and hopeful in it and our continued betterment.

Happy Thanksgiving to us all!

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