A Season Of Giving Thanks

It seems to me that every year when thanksgiving rolls around I can’t help but notice minute details in life that fill me with an overwhelming sense of thankfulness.  Reflecting on the past few weeks of class there are more than a few occasions that have grabbed my attention as events I should be thankful for.

To start, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be in this class, learning about indigenous traditions and reflecting upon my own indigenous culture.  I’ve always taken living in Hawaii and having the opportunity to be immersed in Hawaiian culture for granted.  I simply considered my traditions a way of life, nothing special.  Through class discussions I have learned that the majority of us have not grown up in a culture that combines the western way of life with that of a native tradition.  For me, this combination is what brought me the closest to God.  I used hula as a way to pray in the Christian tradition.  With this connection to God, I found myself encountering many miracles and have been blessed with so much more than I could ever ask for.  Witnessing first hand the standard of living on the Lakota reservation made me feel extremely grateful for the lifestyle I was brought up in.  Not only this, seeing how open the Lakota people were to sharing with us the aspects of their life most precious to them was so heartwarming.  Their hospitality and sharing of their culture led to some amazing final projects for the course.  Although I missed the first two as a result of being ill, the ones I saw really hit home.  For one, the aspect of combining many different people’s stories to create something bigger was inspiring.  It was touching to see how friends and family took the time to share their stories with my classmates; of which, I’m extremely grateful for.  Not only did they share personal accounts of spirituality in their own life, they opened a door for us to realize that we all have had some sort of spiritual encounter or coincidence.  I am thankful for the hard work my classmates put into their final projects to share all that they have learned over this course.  Most of all I am grateful for the time of reflection I’ve had through reading and listening to discussions.  This group of people that make up our class is truly incredible and I am so lucky to be a part of it.

As we all depart for thanksgiving I think it’s important to keep in mind all that we have learned over the course of this block and find a way to share our experience with our family.  Whether it be discussing how well our class has bonded in such a short period of time or trying to explain our experiences in Pine Ridge.  Ultimately we all should be thanking our parents and family for allowing us to attend Colorado College and experience all these amazing opportunities.  None of us would be where we are today without the love and support of our family and friends.  Let’s not let them forget that.

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