Last year during my family's trek up North for the annual New England Thanksgiving holiday, we took a trip to Plymouth, MA and the Plimouth (sic) Plantation. Although it was intended as a way to give my then 12 and 11 year old kids first-hand taste of what the FIRST immigrants faced and adapted to in what is now the United States, I was the one who walked away with more of sense of awe and respect for the first non-natives. Little did I know this appreciation would continue to resonate for as long as is has.
Land of the FREE and the BRAVE...
The meaning of Pilgrim is defined as "someone who goes on a long journey often with a religious or moral purpose to a foreign land"...on November 11, 1620 the FIRST pilgrims / immigrants to the PRE-United States landed on the shores of Cape Cod after a 66 day voyage on a small ship called the Mayflower. 66 DAYS! They eventually settled in an area that would become known as Plymouth. The 100+ immigrants became know as the Pilgrims.
The original Pilgrims were made up of tradesmen, tailors, printers, carpenters, scholars...
They escaped to the new world to free themselves of religious / economic pressures and civil unrest...sound familiar? While enroute to the new world, 41 signed the a document called the "Mayflower Compact". It was the first written framework of government - to prevent dissent amongst the settlers. At the core of the compact - JUST and EQUAL laws. This document would sow the seeds to future pacts / agreements that would be signed.
Welcome to the new world!
When the Pilgrims arrived they were welcomed by the native inhabitants, of the area had already been there 10000 years BEFORE they arrived - the Wampanoag Indians - they, overall, were WELCOMING. They taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn, as well as where to fish and hunt. They learned from the "locals" who shared their gifts...
The FIRST Thanksgiving...
In the Fall of 1621 the Pilgrims famously shared a harvest during a THREE day celebration come to be known as Thanksgiving. This celebration happened about a year AFTER they settled in Plymouth. Could this be where the origination of the idiom "Fish and visitors stink after three days" first came to pass? Not sure but it was attributed to founding father Benjamin Franklin, who penned it for his "Poor Richard's Almanack" 150 years AFTER.
The landing was the easy part...
Although 100+ immigrants arrived in 1620 - in less than a year after arrival only 52 survived. This is what they faced:
I thought you said...
Yes. I know. You read the previous lines about how I said the natives were welcoming. For the most part they were but people being people REGARDLESS of culture, background, color, geography, religion - it was (and continues) not to be a walk in the park for those joining the ranks as the latest immigrants.
Fast forward to today...
We are now a nation made up of 300+ million - where all our roots can traced back to being a Pilgrim in the 1600's. It could be argued that although the challenges are not as steep as those in 1620. some of the very same challenges exist. Which is why we Pilgrims need to extend an open hand, mind and heart to those experiencing their own post-pilgrimage integration to our great Country.
What we should demonstrate / share with our newest Pilgrims who arrive EVERY day on modern-day or perhaps less-than-modern Mayflowers should be no different than the natives who welcomed the immigrants in 1620:
Generosity of talent, time, treasure
Willingness to celebrate THEIR victories!
Happy Thanksgiving to ALL Pilgrims (all of us)!
My best to your quest!
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted relationships where individuals, teams and leaders NAME, CLAIM and AIM their gifts to achieve optimum performance.
Interested to Learn About Yourself or Your Team? Mark is a Certified CliftonStrengths Coach and TotalSDI Facilitator and happy to discuss your situation / team.
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About Mark Myette
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted
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