Thanksgiving, Truth, Reconciliation

Today is a holiday in the USA, when we remember that our forebears survived an arduous voyage and, with the assistance of kind strangers, learned how to set down roots and thrive in an unfamiliar land. 

Of course, we then turned face and slaughtered, imprisoned, and displaced said kind strangers.

History is filled with such dark moments, and not all of which occurred in the Americas.  

The Crimean War, one of the bloodiest conflicts in modern history, was caused by jealousy, avarice, and deception.  Napoleon III cleverly manipulated the Russian and the Ottoman Empires into viewing the other with hostility, in an attempt to garner additional power and prestige for himself.

The Hundred (+16) Year War between England and France was a dispute for power between people who share a good number of genes.   And while it ended with a decisive and interesting division of territory which in great part defines the cultural identities of both regions, it also created antipathy which persisted for centuries.

And finally, the persecution of Jews at various times dating from the late Roman Republic through the twentieth century is a tragedy of epic impact.  During the late Middle Ages in particular, Jews were viewed as heretics, blamed for plagues and economic troubles.  In more than one village, Jewish quarters were set afire – while residents were within. 

Is it inevitable that we continue to live this way?


4 responses

  1. Did you know…that the turkeys eaten on that first thanksgiving had actually been bred in England and traveled to the new world with the pilgrim fathers? Turkeys having been imported into England before they left.

  2. I hope it isnt our fate to betray and destroy one another with our petty squabbles and jealousy.

    I keep hoping that we will grow up and learn from our past mistakes. Im sure that is naiive of me, but hey that is why I am an optimist.

  3. There are certainly other ways. South Africa struck out on its own path after the fall of Apartheid, and though there are many criticisms of what they attempted the fact remains that they tried something other than violence. People who had suffered under Apartheid were given a voice, and those that oppressed others provided amnesty in exchange for an opportunity to apologize. In some cases the sincerity of the apologies was questionable, and I could really get cynical about it. However, the effort to try a different approach paid off on many levels, as the nation did not devolve into civil war as have so many others undergoing an uneasy transfer of power.

    But still, I have to ask the question because I might forget how important it is to ask, and settle down into complacency.

  4. As for imported turkey … doesn’t it figure that we started with a trade deficit?

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