Face the truth. The Thanksgiving holiday in the US has nothing in common with the original celebration between the American Indians and the Puritans who came over on the Mayflower, except perhaps some of the food choices such as squash, cranberries, and wild birds. And for the Indians, that time did not go so well for them…
Thanksgiving Day in the US, for me, represents cognitive dissonance at least if you’re an animal-lover or care about the environment. It’s a time when thousands of turkeys (and other birds) are slaughtered even though they never volunteered to play that sacrificial role. It’s a time when people travel on planes across the US, burning up the skies with fossil fuels so that they can spend time with their dysfunctional families. And if that is the case with you, and you don’t want to play the role of scapegoat and be pressured into eating animals, then cite climate change as your reason for not traveling.
I apologize to those folks who actually love their family members and breaking the bread with them once a year. Perhaps, your parents are aging and you want them to spend time with their grandchildren. That’s understandable but this can be done on any day of the year. Or the family could go vegetarian or vegan on this holiday for the sake of the planet and the animals. Teach the grandchildren to respect animals or they might teach their elders to honor non-humans.
While this might not sound like a spiritual post, it is a post written by an Indigo Child who is not afraid to speak the truth. For it is the truth that brings more light into the world. Cognitive dissonance and guilt only lower the vibration of the collective, especially when this is accomplished en mass. And wouldn’t it be a better option for every day to be a time of gratitude?
With Uranus butting heads with the Zodiac Sign Taurus, it’s time to question traditions, such as the US Thanksgiving holiday. Let’s take a historic look at what the Puritans brought to the US. They thought they brought religious freedom but then in turn, over time, squelched the religious freedom of others, mainly Indigenous people and pagans. They brought puritanical views for sex that transformed into repressed sexuality showing up as soft porn in books, and movies, not to mention, magazines and billboards.
The puritanical views also suppressed people from different races and sexual preferences–even passing laws to keep people, especially women, gays, and blacks in their place. Eventually, after thanking the Indians for helping them survive the winter, the Pilgrims or their descendants stole from the Indians, and that’s not all. That doesn’t seem like gratitude to me. This sounds like a betrayal and a narcissist way of annihilating the people who offered kindness. (The Puritans are also associated with the ethic of working hard until you drop dead from exhaustion).
So, what if we found a way to give back dignity to the American Indians on this day? What if we made a sacrifice by not eating any animal flesh on this day and give thanks for every animal who ever died to put food on our plates? What if we blessed the land with prayers or songs? What if we instead, joined drum and prayer circles on this day to bring peace to this blessed Earth? What if we didn’t use this occasion to head to the shopping center and shop to drop on Black Friday?
What if we paused and reflecting on our fast-paced lives and all the ways we either contribute to the good of the planet or detract from it like overbearing tourists on a fragile eco-system (think as an example Venice or other tourists hotspots). What if we said no to the advertisers, and no to the media’s lies about this “sacred” holiday of shiny happy families when many want to commit suicide on this day when they are faced with the reality of domestic violence or the loss of a loved one?
What if you planned a community gathering where everyone is welcome and solace is given to those who have felt isolated, homeless, or suffering a devasting loss? Many Americans lost their homes through economics or natural disasters. Millions of people are sleeping on the street. Instead of watching a hyped football game, what if you volunteered at a soup kitchen or collected blankets for those people who don’t have the luxury of a roof over their heads and make their bed on freezing concrete?
While these words sound harsh, they are meant to wake readers up from a trance of consumerism and mindless practices. Through reaching out to others, and honoring the other creatures on the planet, we reach a place of real gratitude. By pausing and reflecting on our lives and our life paths, we can truly make a difference in the world.
Some people are going to still fly the friendly skies to meet with hostile family members and others will find love among their kin. We’re all different. Some people will use this as a time of listening to others, becoming a shoulder to cry if a family member is enduring challenges while others will boast about their achievements and use the family gathering as their time to grandstand and alienate others. It’s all about the evolution of each soul. However, the families’ oligarchs and narcissists certainly put a damper on the holiday.
If you choose to spend the day with family, may it be filled with truly heartfelt moments, compassion and gratitude for even the challenging situations and people. And please toss out the historic reference of the Pilgrims. Instead, choose to reinvent this to a gratitude day for the bounty of the Earth and for love of living and breathing creatures. (After all, descendents of the pilgrims have some karma to work through).
Happy Indigo Gratitude and Compassion Day!