Scoot: Thanksgiving ? A Bipartisan Holiday!
Every day of the year we are reminded how divided America has become. We are divided along political, religious, racial, sexual orientation and gender lines and from there we are further divided into countless subgroups. The sad truth is we are hard pressed to justify calling ourselves the United States of America.
Thanksgiving should be appreciated as a bipartisan holiday. The origin of Thanksgiving is not based on politics or religion, and this year Thanksgiving coincides with Chanukah, reminding us that this is one of those rare moments when we can all come together as Americans to give thanks and like the early settlers, celebrate what we have in common – not what separates us.
Actual documents may not provide solid proof of specific details of the first Thanksgiving, but notes passed along through history describe the first Thanksgiving. In 1621, the new settlers from England and Native Americans came together to give thanks for the first harvest in the New World. That first Thanksgiving was celebrated by 90 Native Americans and about 53 Pilgrims. It is believed that Native Americans helped the new settlers survive in the New World and the settlers were grateful.
Pilgrims and Native Americans were two totally different groups with different customs, appearances and lifestyles. If those two groups could come together to give thanks – then I would think conservatives and liberals, whites and blacks, Christians and Jews, male and female and straight and gay can all come together on this Thanksgiving with the same spirit of unity.
Daily we are reminded through the media all that separates us, and it is through the accent on our differences that attracts attention for the media. It might not be sensational and it might not generate a lot of buzz on the airwaves, but it is important for us to step back from the harsh debates that separate us and take time to appreciate all we do have in common. We may see different paths to our goals of happiness, but we all essentially share the same goals in life.
Even if it is for just one day – Thanksgiving Day – let us come together as families, friends and as a nation for the simple purpose of giving thanks. It’s a human flaw to always think about what we don’t have in life, but it is an important human quality to appreciate all the blessings we receive. Look not at those who have more – look at how much you do have.
P.S. If we do come together this Thanksgiving like the Pilgrims and Native Americans did in 1621 – let’s hope and pray in the years to follow that we treat each other with a little more respect than they did!