During our weekend of gratitude and extreme celebration, (OY, I love Thanksgiving food – but so much all at once?) we strolled through the National Museum of the American Indian. It was beautiful and remarkable and quiet and reflective.

We ate in the Mitsitam Cafe, amazing delicious native foods specific to the various tribes we learned about. Flavors that popped, colors that sang, a table of goodness from the earth that revealed the creativity and the sustenance of our native peoples.

But I also felt like, in some exhibits, I was walking through a memorial to the way things used to be. Learning about the myriad ways the white people tried to convert, change, squelch and otherwise subvert native traditions. How their mission was to take away what made Native Americans unique, to extinguish their spiritual storytelling traditions, as if they weren’t good enough in the eyes of the invaders.

I just don’t understand it, why anyone would want to trample on the richness of another. Whether it’s one nation rising up against another nation or a company against a competitor. Isn’t there enough room for us all? Isn’t the beauty of the world that there are so many colors and shapes and stories and songs?

In the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m trying to infuse each day with a sense of gratitude for everything that makes me unique, special, and different. That my brand of business, of work, of cooking, of parenting is amazing and equal to every other. That I am no better or worse than the next person but that we all make up a quilt of human existence that is so remarkable, it’s worth proclaiming from the mountaintop.

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