On Thanksgiving Day, we make a conscious effort to verbalize the things for which we are most thankful. Like many people, I have had a tradition in my adult life of asking everyone at the table to mention at least one thing they are thankful for. Most mention health, children, parents, their home, job, etc.
While we should always be thankful for all of those things, perhaps we should focus more on why there was the first Thanksgiving in 1621 and be thankful for where we are today.
That first recorded Thanksgiving in 1621 was a gathering of the new settlers from England and Native Americas. They gathered to give thanks for the harvest that year. A bountiful harvest was crucial to life in 1621. Each year, the harvest sustained people through the harsh winter months. If there wasn’t enough harvested before the onset of winter, people died.
Most of us cannot imagine stockpiling food to live on through the winter. Whenever we need something we simply ‘go to the store’. I understand that there are many hungry people in America and throughout the civilized world, but most of us are fortunate enough to have the food we need to sustain life throughout the year...and if we run low we go to the store. That doesn’t mean everyone can afford the most expensive cut of meat or lobster on a regular basis, but most of us go to the store regularly and shop for our food needs.
Maybe this Thanksgiving we should take time to think about, and talk about, why there was that first gathering to give ‘thanks’ in 1621. Most of us have been through times in our lives that have made us thankful that we can go to the store on a regular basis, but when things get better for us it is too easy to forget about how thankful we should be for the simplest and most basic things in life.
So, this Thanksgiving Day as we sit down to enjoy the bounty of our harvest, let’s remember the first Thanksgiving and be thankful that we will have the opportunity to make many trips to the store during the winter months to replenish our bounty.
Happy Thanksgiving! - Scoot