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The Forgotten Story of Thanksgiving: Prosperity Caused By Entrepreneurship

A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community. After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford’s detailed journal, “a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them,” he wrote. “There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves.” And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims — including Bradford’s own wife — died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. For a long time, many of them continued to live on the Mayflower. There was nowhere else to live. When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper!


They were going to distribute their harvest equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. Nobody owned anything. They just had a share in it. It was a commune. Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives, and half the people weren’t carrying their weight and didn’t have to.

So, he decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, and they got to keep the bulk of what they produced, thus turning loose the power of Entrepreneurship, Free Enterprise and Capitalism! What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation!

The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford’s community try next? They unleashed the power of Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise by invoking the Capitalistic Principle of Private Property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work, and they were permitted to use it as they saw fit, and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result? “This had very good success,” wrote Bradford, “for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.”

They had surpluses. You know what they did with the surpluses? They shared them with the Indians. Capitalism, as opposed to Socialism, produced abundance, the likes of which they had never experienced. They remembered the help they got when they first landed from the Indians. They shared their abundance. That’s the first Thanksgiving: A thanks to God for their safety, a thanks to God for their discovery, and a thanks to the Indians by sharing the abundance that they themselves produced after first trying what could only be called today Communism, Socialism, or Wealth Redistribution.

That, my friends, is the forgotten story of Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and friends!

Erdley Wright,
Founder and CEO,
Board Treasurer, Urban Youth Alliance International

My passion for technology grew as I served as a Network and Systems Administrator in the US Marine Corps. I founded in order to continue serving my nation by delivering excellent Information Technology (IT) Services and Support to our clients. provides IT Services to clients in a variety of industries including aerospace, aviation, asset tracking, education, financial services, government, healthcare, interior design, luxury goods, nonprofit, manufacturing, retail, social services, utilities, etc.

We take Donating, Giving Back, and Social Responsibility seriously at To this end, we strongly support Per Scholas, which was founded more than 20 years ago to break the cycle of poverty by providing technology access and education in underserved communities.

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About the Author

CEO & Founder, Wright Consulting IT Services | | @NYC_Business_IT | #WrightBusinessIT

88 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Ann Stobbs says:

    I enjoyed the story! I must remember to use it next year to read to my class as one of the Thanksgiving Stories. As a matter of fact, you should publish it! Add more pictures for children of smaller grade levels.

    • I have always been a proponent of personal responsibility because such actions both strengthen and heal communities. Just look at all the poor inner-city communities where anger, crime, and illegitimacy is rampant. The “social welfare” machine is moving. They all vote for a certain political party, and while some progress is made, the evidence of poverty is still there. Why not encourage vocational training and owning/operating a small business in the public schools?

    • Gavin says:

      I’m now appreciating the little things in life and giving thanks. Sometimes we tend to forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving Day. This made me realize the brighter things in this world and how we have so much to give thanks for! Thanks for the article!

    • Marilette says:

      I didn’t know this. Thanks for sharing, Erdley!

  2. Marc says:

    I enjoyed this article very much! My fascination is less with the result of the Political Statement, but more about the Motivational Statement. The power of Personal Motivation can have an incredible impact on an entire community. Great article from one of my former students! Great job Erdley!

    • Thanks for that wonderful feedback Marc! I’m honored that you, a world-renowned Motivational Speaker, would leave such a kind and thoughtful response to my Thanksgiving Blog. I appreciate your fascination with the Personal Motivation of the Pilgrims. I think this Personal Motivation was encouraged by the change in the Economic Structure from Communism (Socialism or Wealth Redistribution) to Capitalism (Free Enterprise or Entrepreneurship). I think that Capitalism, Free Enterprise and the Entrepreneurship Spirit have done more to motivate people and communities that any other Economic Policy.

  3. Mac says:

    I loved it! A great read indeed! This story that must be heard by everyone! This is really the forgotten story. Many fail to realize how this nation came to be and the struggles that the first people endured. I think Thanksgiving would have a lot more meaning if this was a recycled piece that was attached to it every year.

  4. Doug Parsons says:

    Hi Erdley, thank you so much for sharing that story! I’m a little troubled at how many do not know we tried Communism first and it didn’t work. Capitalism, that is, you own what you own, you keep what you make, has raised many from poverty, more so than any other system. There are problems with unbridled Capitalism, but the emphasis is on the ‘unbridled.’ Anything ‘unbridled’ is froth with error.

    It was a bold experiment with Communism that the Pilgrims tried. If that kind of a system would work large scale anywhere, it would’ve been there with them. And even there, it failed. God knows that Capitalism with Private Ownership works better! In so many ways, that’s why the ‘Year of Jubilee’ returned everyone’s land. So, if you lost it for whatever reason, you got to get it again and could try again to make a better living because it’s better for everyone if everyone is responsible for their own piece of the pie.

  5. Dawn E says:

    I really enjoyed your Thanksgiving Blog! I think that things would be much better in present time if everyone would embrace that kind of Capitalistic and Entrepreneurial Thinking. It seems the trend these days is that people want things to be given to them but are not necessarily willing to work for it. Further, many do not take responsibility for their actions or lack thereof. I always found my greatest joy comes from the things I have had to work hard for. You write very well and I appreciated your perspective. I will be sure to visit again in the future. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Suzanne says:

    Very informative story into how Thanksgiving started! Sometimes, we lose focus and so this is a great reminder.
    My only contributions to the Capitalism versus Socialism Discussion are:
    1. It looks like they were allocated pieces of land, so I wouldn’t say it is full-on Capitalism. You have something to start with.
    2. It is a little different today as people no longer start on an even playing field.
    In my opinion, having lived in countries with a blend of Capitalism and Socialism, if you are poor in this country, Capitalism does not really benefit you. If you are middle-class or rich, then it may. Every situation should not be judged the same way.

    • Thanks for that astute feedback Suzanne!
      You bring up a couple excellent points.
      You’re correct to say that the Pilgrims did not have “full-on Capitalism” as each household was allotted land. Even with this even playing field, I’m sure that some household became wealthier than others as each had differing levels of talent. The allotment of land may have been even, but God-given talent is never usually even. I think it is up to the more talented and wealthier people to share their abundance, out of their own volition, as the Pilgrims did. I do not think it’s up to governments to force anyone to share or redistribute wealth as doing so tends to create classes of dependent individuals who will not “carry their weight” and won’t have to. Charity (not Big Government) alongside Capitalism is, I think, the best way to motivate all people while caring for the least educated, talented and most needy.

      • Vinh says:

        I am not sure I understand your statement ‘…God-given talent is never usually even…’. My view is that God would not favor one child over another any more than you would distribute talents to your children. I believe each person is given special different talents equally. What we do with those talents becomes the perception that one person is more talented than another. It is how we apply the God-given talents that are usually un-even.

        I celebrate Thanksgiving because I am grateful for what we have. I hope that the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving because they were grateful for surviving. They were grateful for God and their religious freedom. They were grateful for the hard work they all put in with no comparison of who put in more work. Grateful for the assistance of the Indians.

        I am successful because I am fortunate to have the opportunity to apply my God given talents. I am motivated to work because I want to help others and not because I get to keep what I sow. I do not believe Capitalism necessary leads to success. I recommend that a person’s motivation to succeed be internal. Do not excuse that motivation to some outside factor. Do we give credence to a person whose excuse for failure or not working because the government will take one-third of my profit? Would a religious person ask God why take ten percent (tithe)?

        I do not believe Thanksgiving began because of Capitalism.

        • Vinh, I agree with your statement that “each person is given special different talents equally.” By the statement “God-given talent is never usually even,” I mean that, God gives us all special and unique talents equally, but those talents are not the same. Your God-given talents are not the same as mine, although we both have special and unique talents. Therefore, the differences in our talents leads to different results in our wealth-creation. A talented missionary may never be as wealth as a talented businessperson, but this does not undermine the value of the missionary’s contributions to society.
          Now, in regards to your discussion regarding Thanksgiving and Capitalism, I agree with your statement that “I do not believe Thanksgiving began because of Capitalism.” I think Thanksgiving began because the Pilgrims wanted to celebrate their survival, their help from the Indians, their abundant production, etc. However, I do think that Bradford’s Decision to implement Capitalism (allowing each household to keep the bulk of their income) in an effort to motivate the most talented was a major turning point.
          In regards to Personal Motivation, I agree with you that people should have “internal” motivation to exceed. However, I think that there are external forces at play also. Let’s consider the Pilgrims. When they tried full-blown Communism, the talented were not as motivated to do their very best because there was little or no personal incentive to do so. However, when they decided to implement full-blown Capitalism, the talented were very motivated to excel in all their work because they knew that they would keep the bulk of their earnings. This high motivation led them to produce abundantly more as a community than ever before! From this abundance, they personally decided to share with all. They were not forced into sharing by government. They, on their own, chose to show charity to all. So, as a whole, everyone was better off. I don’t think we can avoid these external motivations as, I think, they can bring out the best in mankind or doom us if incentives are not considered.
          Now, in regards to the 2 questions that you asked in the end of your reply, though they may be rhetorical, I will address them here:
          1 Q – “Do we give credence to a person whose excuse for failure or not working because the government will take one-third of my profit?”
          1 A – Though the government may tax such a person at the one-third rate, he/she is still keeping the bulk (66%) of his/her earnings . So, I would not give credence to such a one. However, if the government takes more than half and this person calculates that this tax cost plus the cost of doing business is too much to bare, he/she may be better off not pursuing certain projects. I think that, as tax rates rise, the cost of doing business or laboring also rises. These rise in costs works as a disincentive and may lead some to not do business in certain areas or to not work in certain areas. Lowering taxes, as the Pilgrims experienced, increases incentives and personal motivation.
          2 Q – “Would a religious person ask God why take ten percent (tithe)?”
          2 A – Giving to God is not the same as being taxed by a government. Whereas God owns all things and gets power from Himself, government does not own all things and is support to get power from the people. We owe it to God to give generously to Him and to others. We don’t need government to force us to give to others. We can do that on our own volition. The primary duty of government is to protect us (not run our lives). A secondary duty of government is to ensure that the legal system allows for peaceful and smooth commerce. I think the Private Sector does a better and more efficient job in providing charity to the needy than does the Public Sector. It is not the role of government to engage in “wealth redistribution” because to do so would lead to, as we’ve learned from the Pilgrims’ Case, less incentive for the most talented to do their best and less incentive for the least talented to aspire to “carry their weight.” The government ought to engage in policy-making that increases incentives for doing good (ie: working hard to increase productions of goods and services) and decreases incentives for doing bad (ie: being lazy and idle).

          • Vinh says:

            So a person rather NOT work to have 0 tax and make 0 dollars or work and taxed 99 cent and make just 1 cent? Given those extreme situations, I would still rather work and work harder to make the next 1 cent, and the next 1 cent, and so on. My motivation is not the 99 cent tax but rather the 1 cent gain for my work. I would guess that people complain about taxes is because they believe those taxes are being used for something they do not approve or for ‘income re-distribution’. After all, if they approve, there would not be so much of a complaint. For instance, if all the taxes were going to help the needy or cripple since they cannot work. Any complaint?

            I believe it is Effective Government that we are striving for. Not big or small. Government makes the policy or law for someone’s benefit. I would at least want to know who it is benefitting. I would not complain if it benefits the needy. I may find out that I am benefitting from it but just did not realize it. I pay some tax for someone else benefit while they pay some tax for my benefit. How much tax would I have to pay if I only pay the tax that benefits me? That sounds like a community of 1.

            Do you believe that everyone would pay a toll on a highway if there is no toll collector? It is unfortunate that our society requires such an organization to ‘force us to give to others’. Why curse the tax collector? Jesus welcomed Mathew! Would Jesus welcome Mathew’s boss? Who then are we complaining about?

  7. Dionne Sears says:

    Thank you for the reminder of how Thanksgiving began! Imagine what our world would be like if we had continued to embrace these Entrepreneurial, Free Enterprise and Capitalistic Principles. We would have people who would take more responsibility for their own destinies, but instead we have those who sit back and blame others for their own short-comings. We would have people taking pride in their accomplishments and our values would reflect perseverance and hard work. We would have visionaries and those who think outside the box. I pray that we would remember each day is a gift and an opportunity for us to do better than the day before.

    • Vinh says:

      I pray for compassion and understanding of those “…who sit back and blame others for their short-comings…” I pray that I can help those “…who sit back and blame others for their short-comings…” I pray that I judge not those “…who sit back and blame others for their short-comings…” I pray that successful people achieve more success by helping those “…who sit back and blame others for their short-comings…” I pray for unsuccessful people compassion, hope, and faith.

      • Thanks for this prayer Vinh! I agree with it! I believe that Charity (not Big Government) plays an important role in helping those “…who sit back and blame others for their short-comings…” Through sensible mentorship and motivation, these people can learn to take responsibility for their actions.

        • Vinh says:

          I am going to suggest that everyone takes responsibility for their actions and are doing the best they can. It may not seem like it to others due to lack of information, compassion, and empathy of circumstance. I am going to ‘hold my stone’.

          To get back to the point of Big Government. That is too general. How big is Big? I believe that there are parts of the government that is not big enough. Please refrain from criticizing Big Government but rather suggest solutions for parts of government that are not big enough or efficiencies for those that you feel too big. Remember, a relative may be holding a BIG government job.

          Capitalism has effective traits to a successful economy. Left unchecked, rampant capitalism leads to many unwanted effects. Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome did have capitalism and look what happened to them. I do not believe capitalism alone is the answer to a successful economy. I do not believe Communism or Socialism alone is the answer either. There are advantages to all of those economic systems. Big Government and Wealth re-distribution are not an economic system. They are colorful description of any economic system that a person disagrees with.

          My final suggestion is that our nation changes as people change. A nation or person who can adapt to the situation is best and will prosper longer as a community. I pray for compassion and understanding for those who suggests Capitalism is best for everyone and all nations and all the time.

          • As I’ve mentioned in a previous comment: “The primary duty of government is to protect us (not run our lives). A secondary duty of government is to ensure that the legal system allows for peaceful and smooth commerce. I think the Private Sector does a better and more efficient job in providing charity to the needy than does the Public Sector. It is not the role of government to engage in “wealth redistribution” because to do so would lead to, as we’ve learned from the Pilgrims’ Case, less incentive for the most talented to do their best and less incentive for the least talented to aspire to “carry their weight.” The government ought to engage in policy-making that increases incentives for doing good (ie: working hard to increase productions of goods and services) and decreases incentives for doing bad (ie: being lazy and idle).”
            How big is the “Big” Government that I mentioned? “Big” Government, to me, is a government that goes too far beyond the 2 aforementioned roles above. Examples include: (1) In the 1990s, when the US Government started to be engaged in aggressive activities in the Mortgage Industry such as forcing banks to make loans to otherwise unqualified borrowers; and (2) Under the Obama Administration, the act of forcing Americans to buy healthcare services that some don’t want.
            Now, I do agree with you that the best solution is not Capitalism alone. That’s why I mentioned in an earlier post that: “Charity (not Big Government) alongside Capitalism is, I think, the best way to motivate all people while caring for the least educated, talented and most needy.” I think governments should be limited to their main 2 roles while the people be free to use their wit and innovation to solve most of society’s ills. The government can play a limited role in helping the needy, but I think most of that responsibility should be borne by the more talented among us.

  8. Chad says:

    Interesting and educational read. I hadn’t realized that the Pilgrims originally tried Socialism that led to failure. I am not at all surprised that it did lead to failure. Great read! Thanks for adding a bit to my education!

  9. Wayne says:

    Thanks Boss! Excellent message! This goes back to the concept that “give a man a fish and you’ll be feeding him forever, but teach him to fish and he will feed himself for ever.” Capitalism is a wonderful engine and, when it’s allowed to work, great things can happen! Thanks for sharing!

    • Vinh says:

      I think it should be ‘give a man a fish and you’ll be feeding him forever, but teach him to Give and he will feed himself for ever.’

      • Vinh, I agree with your timely note here, especially since today is “Giving Tuesday,” that people should learn how to give. However, I do think that the man needs to learn to “fish” first so that he can create the wealth to give much away.

        • Vinh says:

          Are you serious in telling me that a person need to “learn to fish” before “learning to give”? I believe learning to give is more important and can be learned at a very early age before learning to earn a living.

          • Yes, I’m serious. After all, what is a person, who has nothing to give, going to give? The answer is nothing. However, if this person learns to create something, then he will have something to give. Whether that “something” is intangible (ie: labor, skill, time) or tangible like (ie: food, money, tools).

          • Vinh says:

            Everyone has something to give. I can give love, compassion, empathy. I would only need and want love, compassion, and empathy from others.

      • Armand Kelley says:

        I like the way you think! I totally agree!

  10. Kari says:

    Wow! That’s an interesting concept! I never knew that! It certainly explains so much! Thanks for sharing this info! I think Capitalism is pretty cool!

  11. Asare says:

    Capitalism is always a better market system than the other market systems we have. Thanks for this vital story!

  12. Alex Smith says:

    Nice! Well said! True! Communism is a disease dictators invented to control people’s minds and money by convincing them that it’s a nobel cause and a fight for the poor. However, it’s all for their agendas. As we see and face Communism today in it’s new face and name “Liberalism,” we have to stand united and all share the logical common sense of the great Capitalist Ideas that built our great country and many overseas. Excellent point!

  13. I just finished reading and I like it for the most part. It’s an interesting take on the classic story of our history. Personally, I would’ve focused more on Entrepreneurship and less on Capitalism versus Socialism in the last paragraph, but the point is nonetheless the same. Well done on your post-Marine Corps endeavors! It was an honor to serve alongside you.

  14. Ray Ballard says:

    Excellence story! The love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the center theme of Thanksgiving. It is better to be the giver than the borrower.

  15. Ayanna Ayeni says:

    Good! This refreshes my memory about the history of Thanksgiving. It is very well written!

  16. Ingrid McGregor says:

    Great read! I enjoyed it!

  17. Renaldo says:

    I’ve never heard this story before! It adds a different perspective to the history behind Thanksgiving. Good job. Thank you.

  18. Nikki says:

    Great History Lesson! Continue to put Christ first!

  19. Kimberle says:

    I enjoyed reading about this great history that brings families together. People travel every year thousands of miles just to spend this time eating food with family and friends. I also learn something from this post. Keep on informing people! Knowledge is power! Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. Ken says:

    That was brilliantly written! Feel very lucky to have you as a fb friend. I am going to share it on my wall whether you like it or not. lol. Thank you. So true.

  21. Adam says:

    Best take on the Thanksgiving Holiday that I’ve had thrown at me today. I really love that story, especially the gritty and honest version.

  22. Derrell Holley says:

    Great blog! I didn’t know much about the forgotten story of Thanksgiving Day. There were a lot of key points about the blog that got my attention! Thanks for sharing Erdley!

  23. Ray K says:

    Thanks for sharing this E! Enjoy the weekend!

  24. Benson says:

    Great story Erdley! It’s from a great perspective. It has rekindled something positive within me. Thanks for sharing!

  25. This is well stated and true. When we work to give to others and contribute with the gifts we’ve been given, it’s then we have the fulfillment and purpose God intends for us.

    I think the challenge for us as communicators is to connect to the heart so that, when we write the truth, the head (intellect) is in agreement and ready to support and apply what we’ve shared.

    LOVE is always the answer and, when we know love, we can walk in truth.

    Thanks Erdley for sharing your gifts!

  26. Rashmi says:

    Thanks to God! Good read! Thanks for sharing! Happy Thanksgiving!

  27. Albert says:

    Great reminder of something we learned in school! It seems like a new story because I forgot half or most of this. Thank God for America! I could not see how I would live anywhere else!

  28. Donald Ross says:

    Well done Erdley! Well written as well! I am the 12th Generation Grandson of William Bradford and a member of The Mayflower Society. I have read a lot about Plymouth, and my history and family. My connection comes on my mother’s side of the family.

  29. Rosemary Orhue says:

    This was quite interesting! Most people don’t know this side of the story. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Michelle L says:

    Good stuff! Thanks!

  31. Pearl says:

    I heartily agree, my brother! Great article! The Lord teaches us in Scripture to have a sound work ethic in order to prosper and fulfill His purposes for us on the earth (2 Thessalonians 3:6-9). As we see the “Day” quickly approaching, we need to be as the Church of Acts: pray, work and share what He blesses us with, in expectation for Him to prosper, multiply and keep us until He returns.

  32. L. Mize says:

    Great read! We studied that this semester. One of the most important part of that story is it was the first time laws and rights had been written. Before that, it was Common Law. Too many people don’t really know the true story. These were truly nice people that worked well with the Native Americans. Thanks for the story. History lives among us today!

  33. Luis Caraballo says:

    Great work! Thanks!

  34. Leslie Jean says:

    Thanks for sharing! We have to look at the combination of words “Thanks” and “giving.” It’s more than just food and family! God Bless! Great read!

  35. Cristy Li says:

    Great article! It reminds us all how really fortunate that we are and how much we owe to others that settled our one nation under God.

  36. Sharon says:

    This has been very informative! Over the years, you just hear part of the story of Thanksgiving, but thanks to you, I have a different outlook on Thanksgiving now. Thank you!

  37. Zain says:

    Very good story! We should know that we have to be thankful to God for every single day that He gave us to do good deeds. We should also pray for our forgiveness especially during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. These days are special to pray. We should spend these days to enjoy our lives, bring our families to pray and to thank God who gave us another full year to live!

  38. Andrew says:

    Thanks for your time in writing this blog! I read it to my kids and they enjoyed it. Happy Thanksgiving!

  39. Becky says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Erdley! Thank you for sharing your blog with me. I absolutely loved it, especially the last paragraph! They shared their surplus and abundance. Reminds me of how God has provided us with more than we need so that we could also, give/share freely and cheerfully with others.

  40. T. Wright says:

    Timely reminder of the true meaning of Thanksgiving! Great insight and perspective!

  41. Very interesting! Nicely written!

  42. Stan Oakes says:

    Keep it up, Erdley! You selected an excellent topic and did very well at it. Encore!

  43. Ron Grover says:

    I love this blog! Why is it so difficult for some people to understand the positive impact that Entrepreneurship, Free Enterprise and Capitalism have had on societies?

  44. Christopher Garcia says:

    Amen! Thank you Erdley! I pray your Thanksgiving was blessed with love my brother, surrounded by family. That was an interesting story to say the least. An entirely different twist regarding Thanksgiving indeed. Thanks for sharing!

  45. Jim Brault says:

    Erdley, great reminder of the power of bearing through hardships and breaking through by having personal accountability!

  46. This is a very good story! One that we need to keep telling! Giving back should be the motivator for doing business as well as profits.

  47. Excellent! Very well written! It definitely took me down memory lane and made connections I’ve never made before about Entrepreneurship. Thanks for sharing! Hope your Thanksgiving was great and that God may continue to bless and prosper you!

  48. Chris Kanpol says:

    Very interesting! It’s amazing to take a real look back into the holiday. I’m always surprised by the welcoming of a total foreign culture.

  49. Keshia says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! It was well written and very informative! Thanks for sharing!

  50. Jamie says:

    Very interesting! Thank you for sharing! Belated Happy Thanksgiving!

  51. Ben Kubassek says:

    Excellent article! Having been born into a commune myself, I can relate to the Pilgrims in many ways. Please check out my story in a free ebook “Succeed Without Burnout” at

  52. lana (Jess) says:

    I love the story and got some good info from it. Thank you for sharing!

  53. Kaiden says:

    The first thought that came to mind was the story of Lazarus. How he was poor sick, begging the rich for food under the table. While the rich was just eating and having a good life on earth. They both died and the roles got reversed.

  54. Mike says:

    Great article from @erdleywright to address poverty through empowerment.

  55. Ron Malloy says:

    Go E! Just read it and I am very impressed! Both blog topics are insightful and thought provoking! The Thanksgiving Story reminds me that The United States is such a wonderful country to live in for Entrepreneurs like us (and every Entrepreneur needs help). Our diversity and capitalistic spirit makes the US a hard country to beat. I always say to everyone and anyone when the topic of Immigration comes up, that, if it was not for immigration, the United States would never have become a world leader and a country others try to emulate. Immigrants made this country great and we most have policies to foster more immigrants to come to the US and provide start-up support to help anyone become an Entrepreneur.
    On that point, we have a very long way to go in the US in how ALL citizens are treated and protected. It is so devastating to see loss off life at the hands of police officers who have sworn to serve and protect. That said, we need do police men and women! Their jobs must be extremely hard to do well at times. I need to formulate my thoughts more on this topic and further educate myself so that I can be a voice of compassion and strength for those I touch. -Ron

  56. Terry Cook says:

    Very well written blog Erdley! I’m impressed with your erudition and insight. While I agree with many of your tenets, I disagree that we are somehow responsible for police misconduct and abuse. There is a long American tradition which dictates how black men especially, are viewed and treated in society, which predates any criminal statistics which the far right may use to justify our treatment. I think (as a person that grew up in the hood, but now live in the burbs) that it is important to remember this, otherwise we will start to use their talking points to justify the continued unfair, unremitting and unpunished behaviour of those who are suppose to serve and protect. Otherwise, I enjoyed the article and look forward to your next release. Best Regards and keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for your feedback Terry! As I mentioned in my blog, my comments are not meant to “excuse any Police Abuse.” I don’t tolerate Police Abuse in anyway for any reason. In fact, I think that the Federal Government needs to re-examine the Staten Island Police Case versus Eric Garner. I also think that there should be improved training of police officers to better confront Black Male Criminals or Suspects. That said, the issue I’m most passionate about is how to empower Black Communities to solve their most difficult problems in regards to high Black Crime and Unemployment Rates. I think one major step in the right direction on this is to instill in our people a sense of sincere respect for authority.

  57. Victor Marinez says:

    This is a very refreshing read! Regardless of political affiliations, I think that entrepreneurship in our communities these days have become a lost culture! These are tools that realistically must be passed on to our future generations for us to thrive. This story, although simplistic in nature, could not hold truer to the fundamental values of the society we have come to be. But collectively, we must push forward with progressive thoughts and ideas and community-building. Thanks for the reminder Erdley! Semper Fi!

  58. Maeve Daniels says:

    This story presents a very interesting—and indeed forgotten—view of the story of the First Thanksgiving. In today’s world, where the origin of Thanksgiving is so often reduced to “a meal shared between the Pilgrims and Native Americans,” this story provides a refreshing reminder of the long series of events leading up to the First “Thanksgiving”. Fundamentally, the story you wrote about displays a microcosmic progression of economic and political trial and error often ignored or never even realized. I really enjoyed how you laid out Bradford’s own process of cycling through Socialism, Communism, etc. in the search for the perfect economic structure on which to found a society. How thankful he must have been to discover the efficiencies of Private Property, Entrepreneurship, and Capitalism! For this reason, this blog post illuminates the way in which the First Thanksgiving proved to be more deeply connected to our societal structure today, for it promotes the very values that remain large influences on the trajectory of American business and living. I believe these make the story one of even greater victory, thankfulness, and celebration.

  59. Joseph Kennedy says:

    I found a lot of truth to it. The problem with government-dependency is the lack of accountability. Let’s say you were down on your luck and forced into a position where you were dependent upon family. Through love, there would be support. However, your family would be constantly on you to take your destiny into your own hands (get off your butt and do something). Our government can’t, won’t, and will never be able to play that role. So, we have created a society that is fine with hand-outs because there is no sense of that lifestyle being wrong and a burden on our economy and taxpayers. There’s no accountability for people anymore. Bad cops should be fired, bad people should be accountable for what they do. That’s all on that subject for me.

  60. Dave says:

    I really appreciated reading the blog about the forgotten story of Thanksgiving. I also believe that incentive is the only way for people to work in a way that exercises their full potential for the greater community. Unfortunately, though it seem like such a simple concept, it’s very hard for many, many to understand.

  61. George Herson says:

    Interesting story.
    No. It’s a matter of degree. Of course incentive is good, but in a new environment especially people, such as children “choosing” the wrong parents, should be afforded some protection from bad luck and a mistake or three exacting the ultimate price. Bottom line: social safety net, a good thing. To me, it’s obvious.

    • I agree with you that it all depends on the degree. I think we both can agree that we don’t want a government that disables able-bodied and able-minded people from working by creating a socialist state. It should only help those who really need it.

  62. Robert Ashkenes says:

    Good Post brother. I am a firm believe in capitalism as being the best way to distribute our resources. When incentivised, people will not perform to the best of their ability, they may look for incentive elsewhere or do less because they see someone else doing more and getting the same. Also I didnt realize they lived inside the Mayflower through the first winter. I was always under the impression they had started right away at clearing land. Interesting history.

  63. Love the article! It is a very true…productive and responsible people with an ownership stake in the game are in a better position to benefit themselves and others…the natural tendency is we treat things and businesses we own better and are more encouraged to see it maintaining and thriving

  64. Emeka says:

    I enjoyed the story!

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