Today in the US we’re taking time to be thankful. That’s right, Thanksgiving has officially arrived. I do hope that you’re able to gather either today or in the coming days with family and friends and celebrate being alive and all that you’ve been blessed with since last Thanksgiving.
Today though I want to take a step in a different direction and talk about something you may know about or have heard about, that the First Thanksgiving wasn’t all roses and sunshine. It actually is directly tied in with the loss of thousands of Native American lives, and the poor treatment of settlers towards them, not just when they arrived but for over a hundred years after that.
It wasn’t right of the settlers to treat the Native Americans as they did, especially with all the stories we have of how they helped the settlers not only survive but thrive here in America. It’s especially difficult to realize that this country is based on freedom and letting people be free to worship and live as they chose, and we didn’t let them live as they were or wanted to.
So today I raise the often challenging topic of forgiveness. It’s not always easy to forgive, especially if you’re the one who was hurt. But accepting and asking for forgiveness are two important skills we need to work on more often. Why? Because not forgiving means you’re choosing to be stuck in the past and let that pain hold you back. Forgiving doesn’t mean you don’t hold them accountable or that you forget and let others get hurt as you were, it just means you’re free to move forward with less of a burden or chip on your shoulder.
So this Thanksgiving I encourage you to consider forgiveness, both accepting and asking for it, if you’ve got some relationships in your life that you value but some mistake or failure or hurt has been damaging them. Life is short and you don’t know what a day will bring, but forgiveness may mean that you’ve got a circle of friends and family surrounding you and supporting you through whatever life brings.