It seems the true story of Thanksgiving is a lot different than the
story most of us are taught in school. We are taught that the hapless
Pilgrims arrived on Plymouth Rock quite by accident and by luck.
Bringing with them syphilis and gonorrhea, environmental destruction,
racism,and sexism, they had no clue as to how they were going to
No doubt the Indians were a big help that first cold ,long winter,
without their help the Pilgrims would have no doubt perished! The
Pilgrims were taught how to grow food in this new land, how to hunt and
fish and even make popcorn , thus providing a source of income for
Orville Reddenbacher many generations down the road!
Clearing the way for the first Thanksgiving, the killing and cleaning
and dressing of wild animals, such as turkeys was taught. Thus the
“first” Thanksgiving was prepared to give thanks for the bountiful
harvest. That is the “true story taught to children in most schools,
however, that is not all that happened!
William Bradford , the original Governor of the colony writes as to what actually happened.
This was hundreds of years ago, there were no turnpikes, Wal-Marts,
large grocery stores, or other conveniences we have today, not even
heat in their homes.
When the Pilgrims arrived, it was barren and cold, there was disease,
pestilence, and many hardships. It was first decided to set up a form
of socialism, everyone was given a plot of land and whatever was
produced would go into a common granary. Based on fairness and great
compassion you were to put in what you had and take out only what you
needed. The fruits of everyone’s labor would be enjoyed by all. Marx
and Obama would be proud!!
Great idea, however , human nature soon reared it’s ugly head! There
were slackers amongst the Pilgrims, who would have thunk it!
It didn’t take them long to realize they didn’t have to do anything in
order to get what they wanted from the common store! Other people were
carrying the weight, and doing all the work.
It didn’t take long for Governor Bradford to realize that this wasn’t
going to work. Resentment was quickly growing against the slackers. Not
only were they not producing, they were taking more than they needed.
They felt entitled, after all, they were just going by the rules, there
wasn’t any rule stating they had to do anything.
Among the problems , the people weren’t allowed to specialize, some
weren’t good at farming, all they could do was clean up manure, others
were able to manage and grow crops by using the manure to fertilize the
land, some even had business skills whereby they could run a mercantile
store or other business.
Bradford soon realized this wasn’t working, and changed his policy, he
gave everyone a plot of land and told them to do with it what they
wanted,specifying that they keep whatever they produced. It was decided
that whatever surplus there was, they could sell. After that the
Pilgrims began to prosper and thus began sharing their “wealth ” with
the Indians. In turn the Indians shared their knowledge with the
Pilgrims, kind of a joint exchange of ideas that only capitalism, free markets, and free enterprise can supply.
The true lesson of Thanksgiving is, give thanks to God, thanks to God
for showing the Pilgrims how to survive and prosper in this new barren,
unknown land, not by giving free handouts to others,
but allowing each person to prosper by providing the opportunity to excel with whatever talents and abilities one has.
Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!
He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.
For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.
Your comments appreciated
There is an extreme shortage of common sense in today’s world, When looking back in history, I soon discovered this has always been a problem, Benjamin Franklin once said, ”Of all the senses, common sense seems to be the one that is used the least.” As obvious as it may seem, many seem to be totally oblivious to it. Most, if not all of the problems the world faces today could be solved if people would just sit back and think about what would seem to be the most obvious and simple solution to any issue. Often times people tend to overcomplicate the issues. I often think back to what my parents and grandparents believed and said, at the time I thought they were totally out of their mind and ignored it. I now wish I would have listened and followed their advice. It is now evident they were a lot smarter than we gave them credit for. Many times, in today’s world, the schools and universities can no longer be counted on to teach truth and values that will guide someone through life.