By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

Discover the truth


Monday was Columbus Day. On my way to work, the deejay asked what people thought about celebrating a holiday whose premise has been dis-proven.

Oh, Columbus did sail the ocean blue and he did prove that the world was round and not flat. Sometimes people forget the pieces of truth when trying to get their truth heard.

But Columbus wasn’t the first one to America. Native Americans and almost the entire state of South Dakota celebrates Native American Day on the second Monday in October. And, as geography and his own documents prove, he didn’t even dock in one of our harbors.

The Bahamas are a much nicer destination, or so I hear.

So, how much does location and first on scene matter in the truth of Columbus’ trip? Didn’t we celebrate Columbus Day for the “idea” of his efforts? That an idea can be proven wrong. That people, no matter how much they believe in something, teach their children and tell others something is right, can be wrong.

Or is it more important that no matter what greatness came of a supplemental or symptomatic misstep, if you were wrong your efforts shouldn’t be recognized?

I have been wrong before. Sometimes more than once each day. Sometimes I spin the truth to cover up my error. Sometimes I admit I was looking for my own “America” and the “natives” welcome me and allowed me to celebrate my victory on their soil, changing my truth.

But the older I get and the more mistakes that happen, I surrender to reality and say “I was wrong.”

Sir Alexander Fleming was looking for his “America.” Ironically, Fleming was searching for a “wonder drug” that could cure diseases. However, it wasn’t until Fleming threw away his experiments that he found what he was looking for.

In the mold. The penicillin was a by-product of his trash. Talk about celebrating docking in the wrong land.

And what about the slinky, George Crum’s the potato chip, the chocolate chip cookie (yes, folks that was a mistake), the pacemaker, silly putty, the microwave and many other things in our life that are there because someone was aiming for their America and landed in the Bahamas.

Columbus Day is over. The banks, schools, and other federal places have long since reopened and the day, whether celebrated for Native Americans or Columbus and in the Bahamas or here in the great USA, was a day like any other.

But maybe we can use Columbus Day or whatever you choose to call it, each year to let ourselves make a few mistakes. And dig our toes deep into the truth of what makes our lives worth trying again.


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