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What do you bring to the table?

October 9, 2023

I have been thinking about our different cultures and what we each one brings to the table and how our world is richer because of the differences. My German ancestry has shaped the way I see the world and what strength (and weakness) I bring with me. My Latino friends bring with them their beauty. My POC (people of color) friends have their strengths, giftedness, and beauty. My Native friends bring so much to the table. All of us bringing something beautiful. I don't want to stereotype people, but every culture I encounter has something to bring.

Today is Columbus Day or as some of us would say now Indigenous Day. A day when we used to celebrate the conquest of the this continent, or as Native American's call it "Turtle Island". A day when we started the destruction of the habitat, culture and customs of the people who have lived here long before we ever set foot on this land. Winston Churchill said "History is written by the victors" and only in the last 40 years or so have we started to learn of some of the horror our Native American's experiences. America does not have a corner on self interest; every country, every tribe, every person always looks out for themselves and wants to be at the top of the food chain, but that does not mean that we get to ignore what happened.

Abuse, neglect, mass murder, all contribute to the pain of people and no wonder that so many of our Native friends struggle. Their homes taken away, the habitat overtaken by others, their culture destroyed, our friends lost it all. In the book "the body keeps the score" Bassel Van Der Kolk talks about the long term effects of trauma and how it actually changes the DNA structure for generations to come. We can see that in many of our friends who have gone through extensive trauma. Trauma, unless addressed, will always lead to more trauma.

Maya Angelo said "do the best you can with what you know, and when you know better do better." Let's make sure we do better, now that we know better.

Instead of being frustrated with others and their way of living, why not see what they bring to the table and how we can together feast from each others giftedness? Why not celebrate our diversity?

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