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It was not supposed to be this way, at least
that is what I was led to believe. Our words,
traditions, and cultures are meant to pass
generationally, not subjected to mainstream
categories and separated, dissected,
convoluted, labeled and misappropriated. Categories divide, slicing through the corporeality of who we are.
Perhaps some see it as naiveté or foolishness, this need to hold on to believing, in hoping; praying the struggle will bring about change. I want to hold on; I need to believe, to trust, and to find some semblance of clarity when chaos reigns.
Chaos is a dark fog spreading its long fingers, filling minds with confusion, hatred, discrimination and intolerance, impervious to the sun, resistant to reason and equality. Fingers pointed in anger, pressed into service on social media, agitating hostility with nonsensical lies and blame.
The criteria for blaming is simplistic and sophomoric. Color, ethnicity, gender and gender identification,nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, spiritual and religious beliefs, financial position, name, language, community status and even one’s position on social media.
Judgement, isolation, segregation; strip away anything that does not conform to the purported ‘ruling class’ in whatever shape taken throughout history. Sounds familiar doesn’t it.
The response to the miasma is alarming and disturbing; realizing countless people continue to embrace this darkness. Seeing that shadow on people I know, people I used to trust and count on, is shattering.
The murkiness lies just below the surface, just out of sight, where one might not see or hear the subtle innuendos. Nonetheless, it weighs heavy on the soul. What lay in wait became the abyss, filled with anger and self-righteousness, encouraged, even praised. The lack of respect and common decency is abhorrent and sadly, it affects us all.
We fight to protect who we are, to preserve our lands, water, air, environment and the creatures who share this journey with us. We fight for our rights, our traditions and cultures and for our families. We fight for our Ancestors as well as future generations.
Those in opposition will state unequivocally they are fighting for their rights and beliefs too. However when the wind carries their rage, it swallows the basic tenets of all people, regardless of classification. Two glaring characteristics remain constant, greed and fear.
Greed is a gluttonous dark serpent. Fear coils around it, undulating, mating, ravenous. Passing from one to another, the venom breeds in excess and escalates. Far too many are born and bred in it, feeding the corruption, spilling out, blanketing the innocent.
Why should we have to fight for clean air and water? The protection of all natural resources should be inherent to all of us. Yet, it remains a constant battle. We fight to defend Sacred Sites, burial sites, ceremonial sites. We fight to honor the Ancestors and our Elders. We fight to protect our women from violence. We fight to rid ourselves of substance abuse, of poverty, of despair and suicide. We fight to hold our little ones and keep them safe. We watch in horror as children of our brothers and sisters are rounded
up like animals and caged, separated from all who love them. Do you hear their cries? It is all too reminiscent of the boarding schools. We hear their cries too, echoing across time.
There are countless studies detailing the statistics of alcoholism, opiates and other drug related abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, the homeless, poverty, racial profiling, suicides, stress, trauma, PTSD, depression, and violence in Indigenous communities. Somehow, it becomes a favored fodder, another finger pointed in blame, as if to say we are less than. Too often, the stories neglect to include this occurs to people of all colors and ages, of all ethnicities and race, encompassing the poor, middle class, and the wealthy. Unfortunately, we don’t always hear the stories to the contrary.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. It happens with education, action, perseverance, a willingness to be objective and a true desire to create something better. Standing Rock is a good example. The fight is ongoing; and can serve as a strong example of unity against greed and destruction of our water sources.
We can’t give up.
Einstein said “There are three great forces in the world: stupidity, fear and greed.” In referencing Einstein’s quote, I feel it’s important to look at the word and meaning of stupidity in the context of reaction and assumption. Described as the absence of common sense, understanding, reasoning, wit or intelligence, it also plays a strong role when used deliberately with insensitivity and rancor.
I saw a quote once about change, where it stated ignorance is afraid of change. It’s very true. It is important to remember that ignorance does not always indicate illiteracy. Ignorance is often the unknown, something without reference. The fear of the unknown becomes the monster under the bed, hiding in the closet waiting to devour the fearful. It is irrational and inhibits reasonable thoughts and emotions.
Greed stands in opposition to the ways of the Ancestors. Possessions were not hoarded and coveted. It is an act of honor and respect to be generous, to share and to work for the common good of all people to survive. It is difficult to see the excess, the insatiable drive for power, money, possessions when so many are struggling just to live.
Due to the strong emotional reactions to fear and greed, rational thought is compromised. This dynamic leads one away from serving the people to serving only self. We can only move forward if we are willing to work together for the common good of all. It is a daunting undertaking when we look at the changes that need to occur, however, when united for a just cause to protect what we hold dear, we will stand in
strength without fear.