Horn of Plenty

Deer Raymond,

I really love Thanksgiving and I’m thankful for all I have, but I never know how to feel about this holiday. One on hand, I love all the food and traditions that go with Thanksgiving. On the other, I see all these things on social media about the truth of what happened to native people, and how it’s a national day of mourning to them. I see news stories about people who don’t have enough to eat or are missing a loved one. So should I be happy, or sad?

Signed,

Thankfully Confused.

Dear Connie,

That’s a great question. The easy answer is “turn off social media and have a piece of pie.” But the better answer is this: You can be happy and socially aware at the same time. Thanksgiving isn’t really just about eating Grandma’s stuffing recipe and saying “Thanks.” It’s also a time to be awake. You realize that the old Pilgrim story isn’t accurate, and there is a lot of pain associated with that they did to the First Nations. That didn’t happen on just one day. You understand that whatever you have may be something other people don’t. That doesn’t happen on just one day either. So the best thing you can do is learn from our past, every day, and feel your connection to other people – be generous, present, and mindful of them – every day. Then you can set aside this day to enjoy who you are, what you have, and be thankful. Then, have a piece of pie.

Your happy friend,

Raymond

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