On Thursday, many of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving. For most, this day is a time to gather with family and friends and be thankful and to eat some seriously good food. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I can remember as a kid that I loved to draw cornucopias overflowing, turkeys showing off their colorful feathers and I loved making pilgrim hats.
And, today, as Thanksgiving approaches, I was thinking of the pilgrims and what life must have been like in 1621. Here’s a brief excerpt from www.history.com.
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.
Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring.
And, I came across the official definition of Pilgrim on Wikipedia:
A pilgrim is someone who undertakes a pilgrimage. This is traditionally a visit to a place of some religious or historic significance; often a considerable distance is traveled
So, as I was reflecting about the origin of the Thanksgiving holiday, what it meant to me as a kid and what it means to me now, I couldn’t help but think of all of us as pilgrims. Over the last couple of years, as leaders of organizations large and small, we’ve undertaken a pilgrimage of historic significance in our quest for prosperity in a New World. Our treacherous and uncomfortable crossing has lasted longer than we had hoped, but we have lived, we have loved, we have learned and we have even laughed along the way. It’s been a long road and we’re continuing to see signs of fatigue in many leaders and in many organizations because another year is coming to a close and next year is going to bring new challenges and new opportunities.
However, let’s put our worries and woes aside on this special holiday. Let’s be thankful. Thankful for the journey. Thankful for the historic pilgrimage. Thankful that we’ve made it this far. Thankful for the fellow pilgrims that have been important to you along the way. Thankful for the men & women who are away from their families to serve our country and help keep our great nation in motion while we’re visiting with our friends and families.
Take the time to express your gratitude.
I’d like to express mine … thank you to all of our ><((“> team, ><((“> clients, ><((“> fans, ><((“> readers and ><((“> followers for your support and encouragement. You keep us going and we are oh so thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!
Fact or Fiction: How much do you really know about Thanksgiving? http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving-quiz
Thanksgiving Facts: http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving-facts
><(("> Melissa Laughon
Melissa is a ><(("> Team Member at Catch Your Limit, a management consulting firm with offices in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia. To learn more, visit www.catchyourlimit.com.