One percent of earth’s human population (7 billion) is 70,000,000. One percent of seventy million is 700,000. One percent of seven hundred thousand is 7,000. Belvidere, NJ is 38% of that. So at least on a relative size scale our small place on this planet is very much like that of Plymouth Colony back in 1621. However, is that all we truly have in common with our early American ancestors?
Naturally, other than a few loved one’s back home, the Pilgrims were virtually invisible to everyone else, because like most years the world was full of uncertainty and in the midst of chaos. In January of 1621, Pope Paul V was called home to the Lord and the search for 234th pope was on in Rome. The Dutch, an economic powerhouse, formed the Dutch West India Company to compliment it’s already highly successful Dutch East India Company which had a trade monopoly in Asia. This was the same year the Dutch East India Company sent 2,000 troops to force the people of the Banda Islands to trade their highly lucrative Nutmeg exclusively with their company. Year 3 of the Thirty Years’ War was getting real ugly in what is now Germany. King Philip IV of Spain started his first year of a very interesting 44 year plus reign. In France, the Huguenot rebellions (Rohn Wars) was kicking off. Moldavia was the host of a brutal battle between The Ottoman Empire and The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Tamblot started their uprising. Riga was taken over by Sweden. Over again in Germany the Protestant Union was being forcefully dissolved. I could go on, but you get the idea. Yet it was this far-off tiny band of people who simply broke bread together, which ended up becoming the most memorable moment out of all that was happening in that very busy year.
By the standards of the day, let alone our own, the folks in Plymouth had it very rough. Rugged wouldn’t begin to describe the few survivors who shared that first prayerful meal with their new native friends which we lovingly refer to today as Thanksgiving. These isolated pilgrims had zero idea what all their endurance would lead to. They only understood one thing, that they needed to give thanks for what they did have and let that be the foundation for all that would come. Wars, weather, hunger, sickness, and even death were too much removed from their ultimate control to let it dissuade them. Instead, the Pilgrims concentrated on what they could control and realized everything they did possess was a blessing which could be built upon.
The future is invisible to all, because it has yet to be written. Like the Pilgrims we may never know what will be grown from the seeds that we sow today. All we do know is that in order for us to go forward we must first recognize what we do have, be grateful, and then build upon it. Many of the things that happen around us is just noise and is out of our control. So maybe then it would be more productive for us Belviderians to concentrate mostly on what is controllable and get to work on it. This never means we ignore our neighbors in need. It just means that circumstances beyond our grasp should at no time stop us from moving in the direction we wish to go.
Virtual Thanksgiving Dinner Table
BelvidereGreen has witnessed over this past year individuals, family s and organizations who continually do the little things which taken together add up over time. It is my hope that in a small way, BelvidereGreen.com has helped get them a little more noticed. When as a community we realize how many great people are among us, it might encourage more effort from those who mistakenly believe that others are apathetic. I can assure you most of your neighbors are involved with something. It is just that there is so many ways to be involved each organization individually looks thin. Hence, why those in them, may get the wrong impression that others care very little about what they are trying to accomplish.
It is my strong belief that our community gathering place here in cyberspace has the potential to help us all grow a little more than we otherwise would have. Like a virtual dinner table, we are able to come together and share with one another our achievements and concerns in a comfortable familiar setting. It is very possible that in the mixing of ideas Belvidere, NJ can grow faster and stronger as a community and dare I say, even as a family.
Over the past few years I have seen this site grow in the number of visitors to very nice levels. I am grateful for such wonderful neighbors and hope that you keep coming back. Better yet, I hope you join in more on the conversation. BelvidereGreen wishes everyone a peaceful and safe Thanksgiving. Now if you may, please pass a drumstick, all this talk is getting me very hungry.