Thanksgiving is such a happy time of year for most of us, visiting friends and family, good food, and the beginning of the dreaded Christmas rush. We are reminded to be thankful, and that never goes out of style. We at Apogee are certainly thankful to each of you for your friendship and encouragement.
What struck me this year was how wrong the story of Thanksgiving I was told actually was. I never knew the full story about how we treated the Native Americans back then. Sure, I have been alerted to some of the unexpected consequences of Columbus’s expeditions spreading disease to the Americas.
But, as you read the “rest of the story” about this period of time in our history, you can’t help but see parallels to our modern times as others interact and battle for what they see as rights for their religious freedom and treat the establishment so cruelly. You have to also really wonder how balance can be maintained in such a diverse world with seemingly irreconcilable differences so prevalent.
If you google the question I asked to open this blog, you will see much of the backstory to Thanksgiving that we were not told and it reminds us about how what we call history is summarized quite eloquently in the lyrics in the Broadway play Wicked about history:
A man’s called a traitor or liberator. A rich man’s a thief or philanthropist.
Is one a crusader or ruthless invader? It’s all in which label is able to persist.
There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities, so we act as though they don’t exist.
Perhaps there is a deeper message here and someone we should be truly thankful for at this time. Squanto could have been vindictive given the way the world treated him at the time. Ironically, he used his gift of speaking English to negotiate a peace with those Pilgrims much to the chagrin of the elders of his people. He was truly an ambassador of peace in a situation that rightfully looked like the makings of a war. We need more people like Squanto in our society.