By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Thanksgiving Day is almost here – the time when we are encouraged to gather and to give thanks.
These are times when we typically mention what we are personally thankful for, perhaps friends and family, or good health, or a health challenge that we have escaped, or a sweet pet, or some other fortunate experience.
When a friend and colleague recently shared on social media what is commonly known as the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address, I was again reminded that other cultures look at gratitude quite differently. Haudenosaunee – pronounced who-DIN-oh-show-nee -- is also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, or Six Nations that includes Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora.
Robin Wall Kimmerer included a version of this address in her lyrical best-selling book Braiding Sweetgrass, after being assured by Oren Lyons, the Faithkeeper within the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in northeast North America, that its use would be valuable.
He is reported to have replied, "Of course you should write about it. It's supposed to be shared, otherwise how can it work? We've been waiting for 500 years for people to listen. If they'd understood the Thanksgiving then, we wouldn't be in this mess.”
Here is the address, written in an interactive style. Perhaps you would like to read it before your Thanksgiving meal, or early in the day or later in the evening. Or any time.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.
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