A Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Dr. Russ Buss has composed his version of "A Pilgrim's Prayer of Optimism" based on historical accounts of the first Thanksgiving. He encourages readers to use and adapt all or portions of the prayer for the saying of Grace at Thanksgiving Dinner.
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Nov. 23, 2010 - PRLog -- Imagine you were sitting at that “First Thanksgiving” feast held for three days in November of 1621.  Governor William Bradford would likely be saying the first Thanksgiving Grace, a prayer of thanks.  I believe we would hear him give thanks for the optimistic spirit that made this first colony persist, endure and survive.

As I look back over the accounts of the “First Thanksgiving,” I have come to believe that the Pilgrims were optimists.  They survived that first winter because of their optimistic outlook.  What else could they be?

They were risk takers:

   * 0ne hundred two seafaring Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620 after braving a rugged three month voyage from England.

They faced and overcame extreme hardship and difficulty:

   * Nearly half the population died from starvation and sickness in that first harsh New England winter.

They believed in themselves and the power of hard work and collaboration:

   * Prayer, hard work, and collaboration with local and friendly Indians resulted in a rich harvest in the summer of 1621.

While we do not have an exact account of what prayers of thanks the Pilgrims offered up at the “First Thanksgiving,” we do know they were very religious.  In fact, their first act upon landing in the new land was to hold a prayer service.

The writings of William Bradford, the first Governor of the colony, give us a hint about what might have been in the first prayer of Thanksgiving.

   * They were recovered in health and strength.
   * They had prepared their houses to endure the second New England winter.
   * They were active in local and foreign affairs.
   * They had stores of fish, fowl, venison, and Indian corn.
   * They had made friends and received help from the local Indians.
   * When they wrote of their good fortune to those back in England, some wondered if the reports were true.

I have taken the liberty to write out my own version of a payer of optimism that could have been delivered by William Bradford at that “First Thanksgiving.”

Pilgrim’s Prayer of Optimism: A Dr. Russ Buss Version

As we gather round this bountiful table with friends and family, we give thanks for:

   * The positive attitude that has sustained a strong and unwavering belief that we could overcome any challenge or difficulty we have faced.
   * All that we have learned in the past year from our failures and setbacks.
   * The strength to never give up, never make excuses, and to persist in our mission.
   * A “First Thanksgiving” that is only the beginning of many more to come.
   * The comfort in knowing we will be able to face future problems, failures, and setbacks and continue to prevail while keeping our strength and good health.
   * The confidence to take risks.
   * The ability to look inside ourselves to identify our strengths and shore up our weaknesses.
   * Our friends, the Indians, who have taught us many new skills of survival including fishing, hunting, and growing and harvesting corn.
   * The inspiration to keep going every day despite the bitter cold, starvation and loss of many loved ones.
   * The ability to stay in the moment and work on the next needed task and to savor the food we are about to partake.
   * The focus to be prepared for obstacles ahead.
   * The vision of a future that is not limited by this humble beginning, but forecasts a wondrous expansion of good fortune for all who are prepared to work hard and put forth effort to make their dreams a reality.

Regardless of your religious affiliation or belief, feel free to use and adapt this version of a “Pilgrims’ Prayer of Optimism” at your Thanksgiving gathering this week.  Make the prayer to whomever you believe is your God or higher power, or just share the thanks to and with the community of family and friends that have gathered with you on this day here on earth.

For more Moment-to-Moment Optimism go to:  http://www.drrussbuss.com

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About Moment-to-Moment: Our mission is to teach "skilled optimism"- how let go of a negative in a moment and view life as one continuous learning curve with multiple "do-over" opportunities. Products include a daily blog, seminars, publications, speaking, radio show, & coaching.
Source:Dr. Russ Buss
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