Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Broader Look At Thanksgiving

  The first Thanksgiving was in 1621, a usually annual event patterned after the Pilgrim's charter requiring a day of thanks to God and for a successful growing season.  The Puritans followed suit in 1630 with a similar harvest festival.  This continued as a localised event in the colonies with varying dates and customs.  Ironically, even though the colonists were giving thanks for their harvests and their religious freedoms, there were some of them in 1692 who thought they had witches amongst them, for various reasons.  Among those reasons may be that they had different customs because of their cultural backgrounds and were thought of as evil or someone did not like them for personal reasons and fabricated tales about them.  So even though they wanted freedoms for themselves, some felt that others were not entitled to the same freedoms.
  It has been said that Man is a natural enemy to God and that we have to master our 'dark' side.  I don't know if that is entirely true but I know it must be partly true.  Taking it a step further, we are likely to be natural enemies to each other if we allow ourselves. We can be very vicious to those around us and  can have a certain persona when we are in public.  On the other hand, when we are alone or with those very close to us is when we are our 'natural' selves and have a different personality.  That is who we should look at closely and examine if we are, as the Army ads say; being all we want to be. 
  Flash forward to today, we are giving thanks for what we have in a world where there are wars and contentions that have lasted centuries.  To be more accurate, we should be giving thanks for having the things that we need as opposed to having the things we want.  Or are we giving thanks at all?  Maybe to a lot of us it is a day to overeat and watch football.  To others it is a time to be with family, which is not a bad thing.  Just as we should make an effort to remember the meaning of Christmas, we should also remember the meaning of Thanksgiving and the rich heritage that is contained in it.
  And in closing, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song. - Konrad von Gesner

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