Thanksgiving 2013

What am I thankful for about America? 

Two little Indians and two little settlers

Thanksgiving 2013

As I set about to write this post, I went back to last year’s thanksgiving entry and clicked on a thanksgiving account written by a Native American.  I  was not born American and I remember thinking last year – wow what was done to the Native American people in America was absolutely horrible, and I entered into her upset and I began to feel resentment.

Note: Resentment is at odds with the emotion of gratitude which is liberating.

Luckily this year I am seeing it differently. This year I see that there is truly no place for holding on to “being a victim”  Don’t get me wrong here, it is not that I think that what was done by the early Americans to the Indians was okay, it wasn’t. Had Indians not helped the early settlers, those settlers could in no way have survived.  My point is that as we celebrate all together in November in America, should we put our attention on the positive not the negative.  Holding on to being a victim keeps the conflict alive. This underlies our horrible and I will say unnecessary war on terror which only serves to keep corrupt leaders in power using this resentment to create strife, it does not in any way help the people. So let the resentment go.

So while I do not want to justify the bad things done in America’s past and there are many, I think we all, whatever our color, race or creed have to rise above these.bad experiences.  I look back on bad things done to me in my short life, and I am grateful that I have gained the ability to let go of these. It is an ability I have only recently acquired.

What I like most about this adopted country is how far we have come to include  the many different peoples in the fabric of the American culture. America has come a long way with Diversity – and it didn’t just happen. Once upon a time it was true that the Native Americans got the short end of the stick but let’s move forward for that was then, and now is now

So what am I grateful for this year? I am grateful that as a White South African who emigrated to America that I was invited this last year to a Native American Pow Wow!  I am grateful that as a White South African that I was once the only White invited to a Black HIstory celebration in a black church, an aesthetic moment I cherish, for the singing and harmony was unbelievable!  I am grateful for my Black Friend Willie Gibson and his very special lady, my Facebook friend, Dominee Phillips; friends who have had a positive impact on my life.  I am grateful for the very white lady who has just shopped at my Christmas table with her very black husband as I watch her look up at him adoringly.  I am grateful for China Town, Little Armenia and Vietnamese and Korean Restaurants. I am grateful that we are one nation under God and that Native Americans are now very much part of our national heritage and are now very much included in the multi-faceted American culture.

When we seek to reinforce our cultural strength, the woof and warp of many different realities that make up our great nation, we see that what we want to express gratitude for, is those many times when we as a nation have been able to rise above strife and conflict and have come together to care and share.for each other whatever the color of our skin, or the diversity of our politics and backgrounds.

Such a wonderful joyous time, so many wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations I have enjoyed since I came to America in 1978. I thank all of you who have celebrated with me.

turkey standing on American FlagIt was a very unique and special time, that very first American Thanksgiving and so let’s repeat it over and over year in and year out and give each other help and respect.

Lets all celebrate and eat turnkey!

Quote for the Week.

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make our world safe for diversity.”  

John F. Kennedy