I have come to both an important and a sad realization. The vast majority of what I was taught about American Indians in school was half-truths and fairy-tale garbage. What I was taught about the first thanksgiving. was especially a major lie. Unfortunately, the Puritans and the American Indians did not sit down to a good, old-fashioned dinner with turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and do not forget the pumpkin pie. No, the American Indians were betrayed by the Puritans after the American Indians helped them through some major famines and illnesses. Then, the American Indians were robbed and massacred around the time that the first Thanksgiving supposedly happened. Okay, you probably do not want to put that in especially a children’s textbook. However, you do not think they are not going to find out one of these days? My Dad told me the real story of the first Thanksgiving when I was fourteen years old. Maybe say something like the Puritans and American Indians had a bad disagreement around the time of the first Thanksgiving? Then, tell the kids the whole story once they are older. Kids are smarter than we think a lot of times.
There is one thing that thankfully carried over from the American Indians; and it is still going on today in at least some ways. That is the concept of giving thanks. It is not just giving thanks on Thanksgiving however. It is giving thanks every single day of the year. We should give thanks for our families, our friends, our homes, our jobs, our towns and cities; and for the beautiful earth on which we live. Whether or not you believe in a Higher Power, giving thanks should be an important part of your life. Maybe your life is great right now. Maybe your life sucks right now. Maybe your life is kind of in between. Whatever the case is, remember that you are still alive and things have the ability to get better. Maybe, it will take a long while, but it can still happen.
The three things that I would like you to take away from this article, and they are non-fiction, are as follows. First of all, do your best to give thanks every single day for what you have. Secondly, if there is a way that you can make someone’s life a little better if they are having a hard time right now, etc; do it. Thirdly, stop perpetuating myths and other crap about American Indians. Talk to your family and friends who are American Indian about their particular tribe and heritage. Read books and visit museums to learn more about the different tribes too. Finally, do not tolerate ignorant comments or beliefs about American Indians. They are the secret reason why we have Thanksgiving in this country. Thank you to our American Indians friends for that. Happy Thanksgiving to all!!