Thank you to Squanto and members of the Wampanoag Native American tribe who in 1621 welcomed a boatful of strangers to their land. They didn’t attack or imprison them. Instead they gave them food and counsel, taught them how to hunt, and helped them survive a rough winter.
In in his journal, Mourt’s Relation, written in 1620 -21, Edward Winslow wrote about a Thanksgiving feast (one of many) the Pilgrims enjoyed with the Wampanoags:
Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.
On this Thanksgiving in 2013, many of us too are “so far from want.” It’s a wonderful reason to give thanks and to celebrate.
Now let’s each of us do our part, like Squanto, to help others be “partakers of our plenty.” A random act of kindness, an offer of clothing, furniture, or firewood to someone on freecycle.com. Know someone who is sick, suffering from an illness? Don’t simply say to them, “Is there anything I can do?” They’ll say no. Just do it. Show up on their doorstep with a meal. Slip them an envelope with a gift card.
If you’re reading this, you have much to be thankful for. Let’s share.