Grateful Thanksgiving everyone! It isn’t always the happiest of times, the holidays, but I hope you can look at this season as a time of gratitude and hope. There are times when the holidays bring on painful memories and I pray that for you all out there that your memories and experiences will be peaceful and gentle ones.
I was privileged to MC the Tri-City Interfaith Council’s annual Thanksgiving Service Monday evening at St. Joseph’s with Shamsa Rafay another Council member. In this service I was reminded by Pastor Jeff Spencer of how it is up to us to change the narrative we have been raised with about this holiday. He preached about the false history we have grown to believe, how we have neglected to acknowledge the damage we have done to the First Nations who had always lived here, how the racism and destruction of millions of people were viewed as inconsequential.
It can be so disheartening to review this history and feel the guilt and shame that we must feel on knowing that we did this. But there is hope. For we can view our history, acknowledge our participation in it, and vow to take action to rectify and repair what we have done in the past. One of the reparations I give every November is to donate to the First Nations Development Institute and to the American Indian College Fund. I have been doing this for over 10 years now and feel that is one way I can make reparations for what my government did in the past. Our government has not taken steps to repair the damage we have done, so maybe it is time for us to do it. And it doesn’t have to be to those organizations, those are just examples, but to give to those organizations that are helping Native Americans to recover and begin to thrive could be a first step in helping to mend and to heal the First Nations and ourselves. For when we carry the scars of what our ancestors wrought, it is a burden that we don’t even know we are carrying. Reparation heals both sides of the damage. Our country would benefit with this repair as much as the First Nations would.
So let us celebrate this Thursday and keep in our hearts all of those in need, for there are many. If you can volunteer or donate time or money to those who are truly in need, isn’t that the greatest way to give thanks? Let not our privilege get in the way of helping others. Let us be grateful and serve those in need.
Have a Grateful Thanksgiving.
Grateful Blessings to you all,