Posted by: Kerry Gans | November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving–It’s About Hope

This is not a regular “I’m thankful for…” post. There is much I am thankful for, of course, but today I am reading about many of the awful things that are happening in the world. So much anger, and hatred, and fear. And it makes me sad. It makes my heart ache for the world my daughter and her friends will inherit.

Sometimes I get so bombarded with the bad news in the world, it’s hard to remember the good. Because there is still a lot of good. People still help each other. Science solves medical riddles. We save some of the environment for our children. We send missions to other worlds. Amazing stuff.

Because of the history that followed the Pilgrims’ arrival—the slaughter and disenfranchisement of the Native Americans by immigrants that followed—Thanksgiving can sometimes become politicized these days.

But if you take out the politics, if you disregard the dark history that followed, the particular story of that first Thanksgiving is about hope. It is about the Pilgrims’ hoping to find freedom, of course, but the hope runs deeper than that. It is the story of two disparate groups of people who came together in friendship. Who reached out to each other. Who, for at least one moment in time, met each other as equals—as human beings with different skills, different worldviews, but who recognized the basic humanity in each other.

Three hundred and ninety-three years ago, one group of people was compassionate enough to not let a group of strangers starve to death, and another group of people was humble enough to listen to new ideas and be grateful for the help of strangers. If those two groups, who didn’t even speak the same language, could work together in peace, can we do any less?

So today I am holding on to the hope. The hope that we in the 21st century can find a way to follow the example set for us almost 400 years ago. That we can look past differences and find our common humanity. That we are not too proud to accept help, nor too selfish to give help. That we are smart enough to see each other not as “us and them”, but as human beings.

That we can look into each other’s eyes and see ourselves.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Be well and be safe.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this—you have me thinking (and not just indulging) today!

    Like


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