My Thanksgiving Message: be like a wild turkey

Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey will be on the menu of many American families this weekend.  For this occasion, my thanksgiving message to you is: be like a wild turkey. I am sure you will feel a little bit puzzled by this message, please bear with me. Let’s start from the beginning , stay with me till the end and you will understand my thanksgiving message.

Thanksgiving is an American tradition celebrated across the United States on the 4th Thursday of November. It is the occasion for the whole family to gather together around a  turkey dinner. This tradition started almost 400 years ago following an epic tale where pioneer spirit, courage, adversity, generosity, and gratitude took center stage.

This Is Your Quest - Author Joanne Reed
The Origin of Thanksgiving starts with the pilgrims

The story takes place in 1620 in the state of what is now known as Massachusetts. The main actors of this epic story were 100 English born pilgrims who boarded the Mayflower and sailed from England across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the New World in search of a better life. The first winter in their new home was brutal and unforgiving; they arrived too late to grow crops,  as a result, half the colony died from starvation and disease.

The remaining members of the colony who survived winter made it through the rest of the year thanks to the kindness of the Wampanoag  tribe who shared some of their own food with the settlers and taught them how to grow a variety of crops such as corn, barley, beans and pumpkins. The Native Americans also helped the settlers familiarize themselves with the land and taught them the art of hunting beavers and fishing salmon.

This Is Your Quest - Author Joanne Reed
The origin of Thanksgiving – The Wampanoag  tribe chief

In the Autumn of 1621, the colonists harvested their crops and rejoiced at the sight of the beautiful and plentiful harvests. To express their gratitude, the pilgrims organized a feast and invited the local Wampanoag chief and 90 members of his tribe to join the celebration.  The Native American guests brought deer and turkeys to roast and to complete the feast various dishes were prepared using fresh fruits and vegetables harvested from the land. It was a happy and joyful occasion that lasted 3 whole days.

Celebrating Thanksgiving is still an important event in the United States when families  gather around a table to share a sumptuous meal of roast turkey, turkey stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

Each year, one lucky turkey  will take residence in an animal sanctuary instead of being roasted in someone’s oven  after being photographed with the President of the United States who granted him a pardon. What a lucky escape. This tradition dates back to Abraham Lincoln when his son Tad begged him to write a presidential pardon for the turkey meant to be used for the family dinner, arguing that the turkey had as much right to live as anyone. Lincoln agreed, the turkey lived, and a new tradition was born.

Nasim Taleb’s thanksgiving message to all of us: Let’s not be turkeys

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, best-selling author of The Black Swan, told the story of a turkey who is fed by the farmer every morning for 1,000 days (note: the life of a farmed turkey is 6 months on average). Eventually, the turkey comes to expect that every visit from the farmer means more good food. He is quite comfortable with his lifestyle. He figures that he is living the good life, hanging out on the farm with his friends and being fed everyday by the friendly farmer, who is looking after him quite well by making sure he eats well and continue to grow and put on a good amount of weight. Turkey came to the realization that the bigger he is the happier the farmer seems to be. Hence, there is a bit of a competition on the farm amongst the turkeys to put on as much weight as possible in order to gain the favors of the farmer. But then, day 1001 arrives. It is 2 days before Thanksgiving and when the farmer shows up, he is not bearing food, but an axe. Turkey learns very quickly that its expectations were catastrophically off the mark. On Thanksgiving Day, Turkey gets more attention than he has ever received before, he is taking center stage as the main dish at the dinner table.

Taleb’s advice: “Let’s not be turkeys.”

This Is Your Quest - Author Joanne Reed
Thanksgiving Dinner

The moral of the story is not to use the observable past as an indicator of the future:

Just because you never died before, doesn’t mean you are immortal.”

Nassim Taleb

My thanksgiving message : be like the wild turkey

Did you know that wild turkey can run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and can fly as fast as 55 miles per hour? Domesticated turkeys lost their ability to run fast and to fly due to their selective breeding aimed to make them grow abnormally big and much less agile than their wild cousins. Captivity and laziness turned a fast-flying bird into a stagnant piece of meat.

This Is Your Quest - Author Joanne Reed
A wild turkey Story. I like to strut my stuff

Wild turkeys are social, playful birds who are intelligent and have distinct personalities and, just like dogs and cats they can be quite moody. They are incredibly curious and inquisitive animals who enjoy exploring, they are really good at geography and can learn the details of really large areas which is especially good for finding food. They like flirting and when they see a female that they fancy they put up a show to impress her showing off their beautiful feathers. Another interesting fact about wild turkeys is that their life span can stretch up to 10 years.

Moral of the story: if you want to live a long, happy and, free life, better be a wild turkey.

Message from Wild-Turkey

My feathers are easily ruffled. Every now and then I get broody. My favorite thing is to gobble-up attention and make it all about me. I proudly strut my stuff whenever I have the chance to do so. Keep your eyes on me, I like being the center of attention. Thanksgiving sounds great. What’s for dinner?

Wild-Turkey

Message from ancient Mexican cultures: Turkeys have a sacred nature

Turkeys were considered sacred by ancient Mexican cultures like the Aztecs and Mayans, who honored turkeys for their striking beauty and cocky confidence and pride. Certain Native American tribes also honored turkey as a spirit of abundance, sacrifice and, fertility.

As a spirit animal, the turkey reminds us to honor ourselves, to honor the earth and, to care for and nourish both. Cultivating a harmonious relationship with the Earth is one of the key teachings of turkey’s wisdom. And one we are surely in need of in the world today. Turkeys are also a strong symbol of the importance of community, sharing and, authentic connection and reminds us to be grateful and aware of the many blessings we have in our life.

And this my dear friend, is your Quest.

PS: I am grateful for my family, my friends, my readers and followers. Thank you 🙏 for your love ❤ and continuous support.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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16 Comments »

  1. Haha! This was funny and motivating at the same time. Like I really love this.

    I’m not an American, but this article really enlightened me about the Thanksgiving celebration.

    And I love the lessons and quotes included. Really cool.

    I will also consider checking out your book.😃😉

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