Thanksgiving is so much more than turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. It is a holiday that provides a golden opportunity to instill in children genuine thankfulness.
For years I have advocated that the best way to help children become thankful is to provide opportunities that allow them to give to someone who is less fortunate or is in need—and not just on Thanksgiving Day.
Nothing makes me prouder than my children demonstrating the “Attitude of Gratitude” that I always hoped they would acquire.
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving Season, I’d like to share with you a letter that my son wrote and circulated to his “family” which includes all of the people on his extensive mailing list. (He is an accomplished and renown World Music composer, musician and performer.)
Whether or not you agree with Chris’ politics, I’m certain that you would agree that his letter reflects the essence of Thankfulness. In addition, to me, the way in which Chris has chosen to spend his Thanksgiving Day is nothing less than inspiring.
Here is what he wrote:
Many of our friends who have joined the struggle in Standing Rock North Dakota are returning with disturbing and sad reports.
If you are not yet aware as to what is going on, I would highly suggest you look into what is happening. While the white Oregonian armed militants have been acquitted for their 41-day takeover of federal property, the unarmed indigenous people of this country are being beaten and arrested for protecting their water from big-money interests.
The situation at Standing Rock is extremely disturbing for two main reasons:
It is a continuance of our country’s horrid policies towards the indigenous people of America. I thought the disregard for Native American lives and their land rights were things of the past. But the NDAPL (North Dakoda Access Pipeline) now seems to be adding cruel insult to injury. Standing Rock is yet another example that hundreds of years later we are still putting greed before people’s well-being--especially the well-being of Native Americans. As the original inhabitants of this land, they deserved respect when the Europeans arrived. Instead mass genocide ensued and was followed by lies and relocations to inhospitable lands. Now, instead of reparations for stolen land and broken treaties, even those inhospitable lands are continuing to be threatened.
The NDAPL is yet another example in which our environment is destroyed so that the rich and wealthy can become even more powerful than they already are. How long can we afford to destroy the planet so that the rich can get richer? How long will our children’s heritage be plundered for corporate interests that only serve the few?
It is also worth mentioning that the fossil fuel industry is sitting on alternative energy patents that utilize alternative energies like anti-gravity and hydrogen technology. It is believed by many that these alternative energy technologies are being hidden until all of our fossil fuels are depleted and the atmosphere ruined.
Thanksgiving commemorates a time when the Wampanoag people received starving pilgrims after their arduous 66-day journey from their European homeland. If it was not for the Wampanoag tribe, it is argued that these pilgrims would have perished in the cold from starvation.
This Thanksgiving we have decided that we are going to fill our trailer up with food and drive it up to the Standing Rock Reservation to help them protect their water. Doesn’t it seem fair to return the favor that was so kindly shown to those Pilgrims who enjoyed the Wampanoag’s hospitality? This is the best way we feel we can honor the true spirit of Thanksgiving and we would like to invite all of you to join us.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Blessings to everyone!
PS. Sorry if I seem worked up about this. I have been hearing very emotional firsthand accounts and it has been disturbing to say the least.