Cape Cod is probably the perfect place to spend Thanksgiving. Surrounded by all that history, it’s hard not to appreciate both the challenges faced in building a life in a foreign land and the importance of relationships and community. Two days ago I toured some of the most Thanksgiving-y sites in Massachusetts, including Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock, and the Mayflower II. Each stop was fascinating, no matter how you believe the first thanksgiving actually happened.
Plimoth Plantation, the official site of the first thanksgiving, is a rebuilt historical site depicting a Wampanoag village and a plantation typical of the type the Mayflower pilgrims may have lived in. Plymouth Rock, though broken and moved, is nevertheless an American icon. I know all the other rocks I’ve seen are that old, but there’s something awe-inspiring about knowing I’m standing over the same stone people stood over 390 years ago. And the Mayflower II, though built after WWII, is historically accurate and sailed the Atlantic with no modern conveniences like GPS.
While on my trip to the Cape, and reading Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone and James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757, I thought quite a bit about the power of connecting with people. I won’t try to make some lofty comparisons between the pilgrims and successful corporate ladder-climbers, but it’s worth noting that nobody succeeds alone. Not pilgrims, not junior executives, not CEOs, and the proof is all around us. Even people long since gone can teach us their secrets to success, and connecting is always one of those secrets.
This year I’m thankful I got to spend the holiday with loved ones and tour some of our nation’s most significant sites, and I’m thinking more about the power of relationships and all the paths I’ve crossed in the last 15 years. I hope every one of you enjoy a wonderful, thankful Thanksgiving.