Written November 10, 2016
“Hand in hand, across the land, we are truly related, no matter the color of our skin, age, religion, faith, economic or job status, even species.” ~Unknown?
Funny thing about that quote. I never wrote the authors name when I wrote this last year and I can’t locate it in my files or the internet. For all I know I wrote thos words based on another quote from a Lakota Indian, “The Red Road is a circle of people standing hand in hand, people in this world, people between people, in the Spirit world, star people, animal people, stone people, river people, tree people…The Sacred Hoop.” No matter. The author is not important, the words are.
There is a phrase in the Lakota language. “Mitakuye O’yasin” It reflects the worldview of interconnectedness held by the Lakota people of North America.This concept and phrase is expressed in many Yankton Sioux prayers, as well as by ceremonial people in other Lakota communities. It is a prayer of oneness and harmony with all forms of life: other people, animals, birds, insects, trees and plants, and even rocks, rivers, mountains and valleys. Let’s focus on the human aspect of this phrase today.
So what does it mean? Mitakuye O’yasin loosely translates to “We Are All Related”. “But I’m not related to this person! I don’t even know him/her!” you might say. While it’s true “this person” had different parents and probably neither parents knew each other nor did your grandparents, and so on but we are related nonetheless. Each human, no matter what color/race, belief/faith/religion or socio-economic status, have many things in common. First and foremost, if you peel back the skin you’ll notice that all of us bleed the same red blood and the same organs. Each of us have 2 eyes, 2 ears, a nose and a mouth. We also have brains that think the same thoughts and hearts that feel plus we all have the same if not similar dreams and aspirations in life.
We are all related no matter what clothing we wear – uniform, plain clothes or fancy clothes. Brand name, big ticket, top of the line clothes or off-label, clearance rack clothes. What about JQ Doe who works in Small Town, USA or the CEO who works in Big City, USA or even the soccer mom raising her kids in a world so divided and even a little scary? Yup, they’re related. It makes no difference. Take away the name titles, jobs, uniforms, the name tags, badges, all clothing period. Strip ALL of it, and I do mean take EVERYTHING away and see how we are all related inside.
With this in mind, we must stop all this hate! Protest if you must, but keep it peaceful and without the words of hate like, “Not my president” when the election was done the way it has been done for 200 plus years. Then there’s also “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!!” or the one I really despise, “Pigs in a blanket, frying like bacon!” Police officers are people too. So the next time you see or you need a policeman, imagine him gone and there’s no one to save you. Think about there being no law enforcement around the next time some terrorist(s) do a mass shooting or something else that causes mass casualties. And especially think about it when the criminal has an illegal gun that was bought illegally on the street or that illegal immigrant who was shipped back to their country multiple times is hurting someone somewhere – even someone you love.
People everywhere stand up for their rights every day, even if it’s for their basic human rights. I applaud everyone who does this. Our First Amendment gives us, all of us, Freedom of Speech. Matter of fact there are a lot more rights that we citizens have, however, with these rights, these Freedoms, we do have responsibilities.
Imagine 2 scenarios if you will. There are 2 toddlers enjoying some playtime in the sand box. One of them builds their version of a sand castle and the other comes along and trampled it. What usually happens is a parent will remove the child that trampled on the others castle. Next, a teenager wants to go out with their friends. The parents give permission but say to be home by a certain time. When the teenager comes home an hour, two hours late quite often their punished somehow. Maybe privileges are taken away.
As an adult, the Second Amendment allows us the right to keep and bear arms(to have and carry guns) however there are laws, or responsibilities, with owning a gun. The obvious one is to not go around shooting people for no reason. Similarly with our Freedom of Religions one cannot force another person to follow a certain religion. With Freedom of Speech one person cannot silence another person or even a group of people. That(Freedom of Speech) is another post I will be working on for another day.
In the meantime, I encourage anyone who reads my words to think about these words I write. Think about the hate speech that spews from your mouth and how the person(s) hearing it feels. How would you feel if it were directed at you? Finally, think about your children and all other generations to come. Would you rather they grow up in fear and hate or love and compassion? The choice is yours. Choose your words carefully. The time to work towards peace is now, and it starts with you and me.
Thought for the day: If you proposed to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind? ~Buddha