(The Conscious Resistance)
Every year on Thanksgiving millions of Americans gear up for the holidays by cooking elaborate meals, shopping for the perfect gift they believe will bring happiness and giving thanks. Another group of Americans, however, take time to remind others that the idealized version of Thanksgiving we are sold as children is nearly a complete fabrication.
This education, whether wanted or not, seems to be the latest wave riding through activist communities the past few years. Individuals are quick to remind their friends how little they support this nationalistic holiday. It is extremely important to push past the propaganda and inform your loved ones that today is not about turkey legs, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole for everyone. The Native American population in the land mass known as the United States have been broken down, forced into reservations, and still to this day have their treaties violated by the “civil” leaders of our country.
I have Native American and Native Texan blood running through my veins and fully understand the desire to stand up for the injustices that have happened and that continue in America and around the world. This morning I was contemplating what Thanksgiving means to me, what this holiday is supposed to symbolize and what it can mean for me on my personal journey.
While the President will parade around in front of the cameras to pardon a turkey, he doesn’t dare budge to pardon Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden. The media will devote their entire mornings to parades sponsored by mass consumerism, and football games rather than informing you of important issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and looming financial crisis. Others will celebrate No Thanks!-giving by boycotting the family dinners and Black Friday sales altogether, choosing to spend the day smiting the “sheeple” who just can’t seem to see what’s right in front of their eyes.
Hallmark, the government and a false sense of nationalistic pride may have helped create this holiday but it is up to each of us how we spend this day and where we focus our energy. We can choose to single out the lies (and there are many) regarding this day, or we can choose to spend the time with loved ones. Not only is it important for our spiritual well being to express gratitude but it has also been confirmed by at least eight studies that positive thinking is related to lower signs of depression. As always, you are the master of your reality and shape your own experiences.
However you choose to spend this day I hope you recognize the empowerment, and strength, in giving thanks. Despite the fact that this day is based on a lie it is generally the time of year when families and friends come together to enjoy a few moments together. Educate them, ask them if they know the true origins of this day. Ask them if they are happier shopping in the middle of the night and literally fighting other humans to purchase the latest gadgets. By all means, challenge them. Just don’t forget to take moments to reflect on all that you have.
As activists, or freedom fighters, or just conscious, aware, free, beautiful human beings it is quite easy to get wrapped up in your struggle for freedom and forget the very reason you began “fighting”. Never forget the struggles, the loss of life, and misery that happened and continues to happen in the name of our Manifest Destiny. Never, ever forget, but take a moment today, and every day, to be thankful.
Thank you for your time. If you resonate with this message, please share. I would like to honor today with a version of a prayer I learned recently at a Choctaw gathering in Oklahoma.
Thank you Great Spirit that moves in all things.
Hear our voices as we give thanks and show appreciation.
Thank you to the four corners of the earth.
To the North, the spirit of Winter, time of rest. Thank you.
To the East, source of all light, spirit of Spring, time of new life. Thank you.
To the South, spirit of Summer, time of warmth and growth. Thank you.
To the West, spirit of Fall, where the great winds blow. Thank you.
To the Grandparents in the Sky we give thanks.
To Mother Earth, we walk on your skin, and we give thanks.
To all the nations, Plant, Animal, Mineral, Human, and all life, Thank you.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist, community activist, gardener and promoter from Houston, Texas. He is the co-founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, and co-host of Free Thinker Radio. Broze also hosts and produces a weekly podcast under the name of the Conscious Resistance. His writing can be found on The Conscious Resistance, The Liberty Beat, Activist Post, and other independent media sources.