The Block Island Times
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Rhymes to Reason: Thanksgiving and kindness

By Sheridan Fisher Carley | Nov 22, 2012

Kindness, sharing and caring is a topic close to my heart. I wanted to share it with my readers this holiday.

Emily Dickinson once wrote: “If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life from aching, or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain.”

As most of us know, our firstThanksgiving took place in the year of 1621 in Plymouth, Mass. The colonists were also known as pilgrims. The pilgrims had a hard first year in this new land and half of them died. The ones that survived planted corn, built shelters for the coming winter and learned to hunt wild game. They were taught how to survive by their Native American friends.

So grateful were they, that they set aside a time to give thanks to God and they invited the Native Americans to a Thanksgiving feast.

As parents we sometimes forget to help our children develop an awareness for all the things we should be grateful for. We should help and teach them to understand why caring, sharing and kindness are so important. Explaining to them why the pilgrims had to come to this new world and how blessed we are as people to be living in America.

Do you know why your families came to America? So many people are so fortunate to have families with older generations that can pass on the wisdom of their holidays and they are such gems for our younger generations. Hopefully, this Thanksgiving you will be able to understand why it is so important to share your childhood memories.

A few years ago, a reunion committee was formed to celebrate Mott Enterprises. All the people who ever worked there were asked to come to this reunion at the Spring House Hotel for a party. The option was also opened to all Block Islanders. So many people helped and at the time, my job on the committee was to barter and recruit the entertainment.

So I hit the road trying to find a cocktail lounge singer. I approached Megan Hennessey. I promised her personally if she would sing for free, I would in return be a Turkey for the Hennessey Family Memorial Fundraiser (The Turkey Trot) held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. She said yes!

About 180 people came to the reunion and I believe it was a success. I was very thankful for Megan’s kindness. Now I knew in return I would have to be a turkey. The only turkey costume I could find was a cowboy riding a blow-up turkey. So, Saturday morning after Thanksgiving I put on my mustache, costume and eyebrows and grabbed my cowboy hat and off I went to the Turkey Trot. (My children are never surprised at what their mother does. They have learned it is ok to laugh at oneself.)

The Hennessey family was so pleased and I was glad I could return their kindness for Megan singing at the reunion. All of the craziness was worth it. Working together with others makes a difference in our world.

“Drops that gather one by one finally become a sea.” — Persian Proverb.

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