Lawrence Countians can learn from past

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 24, 2005

Looking at our past can help bring us together in the present and in the future. Each of us can learn from the men and women who observed the first harvest - now known as Thanksgiving - all those years ago in 1621.

Many of our forefathers and ancestors were great leaders who possessed a tremendous vision for the future. Even if you toss aside all the myth and legends that surround the historic event that officially became known as Thanksgiving centuries later, the act of selflessness and sense of community is still inspiring today.

The pilgrims that settled in Plymouth, Mass., were living in foreign lands that were inhabited by a native culture that vastly differed from the European style. It had been a difficult year with many hardships that they had to overcome.

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Still, the pilgrims invited nearly 100 of the Wampanoag Native Americans to be a part of the celebration. By extending that olive branch, the pilgrims showed that all of us are able to find a common ground and reason to celebrate regardless of our race, religion, culture or background.

This is a lesson every American should take to heart today and apply in their own lives. Our nation, and even our county, is truly a melting pot of different beliefs, opinions and ideas.

We should take a lesson from the pilgrims and always seek to find issues upon which we can agree.

Many things in our world attempt to divide us: politics, religion, economic status, philosophical ideas, lifestyle and heritage. And on a smaller scale, neighbors often end up fighting over these things and how they affect Lawrence County and southern Ohio.

During the recent election, many in the community were divided over the future of the Ironton City Schools, who should lead the city's court, what direction the city should go in and who should take the mantle of leadership positions throughout the county.

This Thanksgiving should be the time we put those differences aside and find the things for which each of us should be thankful: Friends, family, loved ones and a great community that each of us love so much. Ironically, it is that same passion that sometimes creates the division.

Each us should think of our community and all the people in it this Thanksgiving because that is something for which we can truly be thankful.