Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving thought

Hello my friends. Here in America it's Thanksgiving. It's a time for families to gather, be grateful for their fortune, however large or small it may be, and feast. We should enjoy our family and celebrate our personal triumphs and tragedies. It should also be a time to reflect upon what has happened between today and when people from Europe first set foot upon this great land. If you are of European descent, it's not YOUR fault that our ancestors raped, pillaged, stole and committed genocide against the native population, but it is your responsibility to recognize and be aware of what transpired before we came to be here. In that awareness, perhaps we can recognize the ongoing oppression perpetrated by those who find themselves in positions of authority and rule. Sometimes, it only takes one person to speak up and voice concern when injustice occurs. A single voice raised against another single voice can sometimes make a difference. If we are grateful for what we have, and humbly accept our good fortune, we can also be a voice for reason and justice.
So be happy on this day of thanks and celebrate family, friends and good fortune, but never ever forget the past, for those who do, are doomed to repeat it with all its horrors.


Bedagi (Big Thunder) late 19th century.
Wabanaki Algonquin writer

Give us hearts to understand;
Never to take from creation's beauty more than we give;
never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed;

Never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth's beauty;
never to take from her what we cannot use.

Give us hearts to understand
That to destroy earth's music is to create confusion;
that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty;

That to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench;
that as we care for her she will care for us.

We have forgotten who we are.
We have sought only our own security.
We have exploited simply for our own ends.
We have distorted our knowledge.
We have abused our power.

Great Spirit, whose dry lands thirst,
Help us to find the way to refresh your lands.
Great Spirit, whose waters are choked with debris and pollution,
help us to find the way to cleanse your waters.

Great Spirit, whose beautiful earth grows ugly with misuse,
help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.
Great Spirit, whose creatures are being destroyed, help us to find a way to replenish them.

Great Spirit, whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption,
help us to find the way to restore our humanity.

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to the world,
hear me; I need your strength and wisdom.
May I walk in Beauty.

4 comments:

TED VELVET said...

Al Franken always used to say on his radio show,"we're standing on the shoulders of the generations who came before. We Stand on the shoulders of the the people who stood on the shoulders of the people who stod on the shoulders of the people who stood on the necks of indians.

MountainLaurel said...

This is the perfect Thanksgiving thought and poem. Mind if I crosspost the poem to the Appalachian Greens blog (with attribution of course)?

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Go for it Laurel.

MountainLaurel said...

I hope you've been checking the comments at the AG post as you're getting lots of compliments there. :-)