Thanksgiving 'What If'

Chihuly Cornucopia

The colonists left England with militia, including Myles Standish. They feared those already established in America could be hostile. I’d be afraid too. But even a gun can’t kill fear. And fear can block logic that sees potential in something “exotic.”

Would we be healthier if European immigrants had reproduced more with the original Americans? At what point does a pure race begin to inbreed and not know it? Was it possible for the pilgrims to welcome people, who looked and lived so differently, into their homogeneous community at all if they weren’t starving? The colonists had innovations Natives may have wanted to integrate into their societies even as the settlers learned from the Americans how to survive in this foreign land. How would greater mingling of knowledge and personal practices have affected the juvenile United States?

Native people weren’t worried about strangers taking their land. They couldn’t have conceived of this happening because they didn’t believe the land could be owned. It’s a basic necessity. I’m not so naïve to believe Native tribes never fought each other. But, at that time, was anyone worried about having enough land? The colonists hugged the coast. Most Native tribes moved with the herds. There was plenty of room.

In Euro-American thinking, landownership equaled wealth and power. You couldn’t even vote unless you owned land. I’ll not go into the fact that women weren’t allowed to vote until long after this law was changed. Or delve into the viability the colonists would ever adopt the matriarchal system that some Native tribes followed. That’s another ‘What if’ post.

If Native Americans had influenced the settlers’ society in more than just keeping them from starving, how would our civilization have matured? I can’t see a Native government official allowing the production of Styrofoam. The stuff never decomposes. A person who sees the earth as spiritual, and respects its delicate balance, would question a product’s disposability before allowing it to be sold en masse. Would unnecessary materials like plastic grocery bags have passed approval with an EPA that included Native people? Solar and wind power may have been invented earlier. Recycling? Duh. Dump chemicals in water?! 

If facts above are off, please alert me in the comments below.

Happy Thanksgiving.



  1. Happy Thanksgiving you make a valid point.

  2. A very important lesson we should be most thankful for - if we learn it. Thanks for reminding us of the potential value of getting to know others.

    1. You're welcome. And thank you for your comment. Take care.

  3. Seriously, Dawn, much food for thought here. I can't see what is off in your post. Life is full of "what if's" though. That much I know. But life is always worth living and learning and correcting where we can. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving, my dear!


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