History has always been written by the "winners" in the great culture race. I completely forgot that my husband would be off today for the Federal bank holiday of Columbus Day. It's not a day that we really celebrate much anymore. I think, as a white female who can trace some of her descendants back to the first Pilgrims arriving in Jamestown, that I'm grateful this new world was discovered. However, as a person who cares passionately about preserving culture, race, and heritage, I can also be ashamed about a lot of the sad history of the Americas.
Rather than getting upset about the plight of Native Americans, or the misuse of our natural resources, or any number of other atrocities that have taken place in this New World, I'm choosing to focus on the redemption of our country.
I'm grateful that we can celebrate our heritage freely in this country, no matter our race, culture, or religion. I'm grateful that we can support cultural freedom in other countries through the Internet and the use of micro-finance, education, and support. I'm grateful that our country has a stable government, even if they don't accomplish much. I'm grateful that, despite our disagreement on certain topics, we live in relative peace in this country. I'm grateful that we've been blessed with the financial resources to be able to bless people in other countries with food, school supplies, and more. I'm grateful for our public education system, as broken as it may be, education is still something of value in our country. I'm grateful for sanitary water, fresh and abundant food, and being able to live in a large comfortable house with access to libraries, parks, museums, and more.
Whether you get Columbus Day off, have a "fall break" now or in the future, or whether you're stuck working somewhere indoors on this beautiful fall day, I hope you take a moment to give thanks. Not specifically for Christopher Columbus or the legacy he left, but for the country you live in and the people who have helped it become what it is today. Let's work together to make it a better New World for tomorrow.