Thanksgiving – A Time to Reflect

Children in classrooms around the country have been making crafts from construction paper this month – Pilgrim hats, “Indian headdresses, leaves, pine cones – symbols of fall and Thanksgiving culture. Stories will be told in school about how the Indigenous people of North America (Native Americans) shared their harvest feast with the starving English settlers -- turkey, waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. Not exactly the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, yams and pumpkin pie on this week’s Thanksgiving table.

For the Wampanog tribe, the purpose of the harvest feast was to give thanks for the bounty of food that the growing season had produced -- for the rain and the sunshine which caused the plants that bore the food to grow. Giving thanks is integral to the Native American culture. The harvest celebrations allow a time to reflect on being thankful, to be with family, and to count blessings.

The Wampanoags were caring people who lent a hand to the settlers who were, at the time, less fortunate. They were heroes who shared their celebration with the Pilgrims. Yet somehow this has become lost.

Did you know that the day after Thanksgiving is designated as our country's official day to pay homage to Native American heritage and culture? Somehow, this too has become lost. Black Friday (and now Gray Thursday) morphed into the official kickoff of the "holiday" shopping season where we pay homage to retail.

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect and pay homage to the people and things that are important. This year we’ve got a great deal to be thankful for and would like to take a moment to reflect on the people who helped us with our success. We couldn’t have made The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook a reality without them. Shout outs to Susan Devereaux, our virtual assistant, for editing and formatting the manuscript and keeping us on track; Marilyn Allen, our literary agent, for her help and; the staff at Career Press for continuing to believe in us; Sharon Armstrong, our biggest cheerleader; and our many friends and family members who labored through the writing process and gave us encouragement.

Reflect on accomplishments and celebrate successes in your organization. Give thanks to the people who made those successes happen. Reflect on your own organizations culture -- it traditions and celebrations. Review the past, look to the future and take some time to just be!

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