Freedom in the Form of a Prison
HERE! Have a prison, it comes preassembled and with everything, you could ever want. I'll show you where to put it, how to maintain it and how to believe it doesn't even exist. Sound good? Probably not.
Prisons are something I know about because one day, I realized I had built a substantial one. This awareness is one of the most crucial self-realizations in life.
I am reading a few books covering an awful period in which the U.S Government studied the Lakota way of life as if in a laboratory. Some reading this may instantly dismiss my writing, but it's valuable, and your life is on the line.
Knowledge is power, and my focus has been on Native American culture, both past, and present. Yesterday, I woke up and suddenly came to a realization. It was there all along, but now I could see it. Before I continue, I do not speak for anyone but myself, my journey, and my understanding.
Native Americans have been resisting colonization for a long time. Many question why, and some feel full integration is the only answer.
Hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, humans constructed something called civilization. Control, greed, and power are the key ingredients. Then, establishing laws, religions and economies occurred. Classes of society were clearly defined as the haves and have-nots.
Along come the French, British, and Americans. Collectively these societies had built prisons for their people and expected them to stay within the confines. Not only that, but the promotion of their way of life was spread, and those not accepting were eliminated.
I love my country. In large part, our ideas of democracy came directly from Native Americans. Ironically, they were and are prevented from practicing it.
Colonizers were already enslaved without even knowing it. This slavery came in the form of rigid expectations. Take the land, make it productive, borrow money, build a home, buy things you don't need, pay taxes, go to church, elect corrupt politicians and be grateful for it all. Go to war for reasons unknown, kill, divide, conquer, dominate and get rich.
If I were being presented with this way of life for the first time, I would outright reject it. The land of the free was not free at all. Freedom was the cost, not the benefit. Many died protecting their freedom and way of life. I'd like to think I'd fight to the death for such importance.
Native Americans cherish their elders, feed the hungry, and honor their children. The opposite can be found in much of our society. The young are indoctrinated into slavery and taught how to be productive members by being a cog in a machine, occupying a cubicle and dedicating countless hours to a corporation.
They (we) are encouraged to lead our lives in a way that supports huge corporations controlling the government, wasting our money, and leaving future generations with more problems than they could ever handle.
Once we can no longer produce, we are put in square rooms with adjustable chairs and TV sets. This is what we've worked for all our lives. We worked to ensure that a corporation could provide essentials and make money doing it. Care is based on wealth or lack thereof.
Native Americans were free to roam, hunt, provide, teach, worship, learn and share. Money had no meaning. Life wasn't easy or perfect, but there was meaning beyond wealth accumulation.
The colonizers wore shackles of the spirit. Offering these shackles to the Native Americans was an act of kindness from a group that viewed themselves as superior.
The Native Americans were free, and the colonizers found it repulsive. European-based society did not value the elderly, children, or those that walked to a different tune. Homosexuals were held in high esteem and even considered lucky.
Native Americans helped one another, as it is considered honorable. Conversely, colonizers promoted taking advantage of others to get ahead. This was considered repulsive to the Native American community, and rightly so.
Years ago, I began to build my own prison. Its ingredients were fear, worry, hate, greed, addiction, and jealousy. Once I could see the prison, I had to figure out a way to take it down.
One brick at a time, I began to deconstruct myself, and it continues to this day. I'm not interested in trading one prison for another, but I am learning from the Lakota People about what is important in life and what is not.
Native Americans aren't perfect and have a slew of issues to deal with, but it was the colonizers that brought the chains, and the Natives left to figure it out.
It didn't have to be this way, but the writing was on the wall. I look forward to a future where Native American culture is understood and even adopted in everyday life. Culture should be celebrated and preserved. Living in current society doesn't have to mean rejecting all others.
Visit your elders, help those in need, and hold your children up high. Take care of the earth, air, and water. It doesn't belong to us. A bright future is still within our abilities.
Disclaimer: This is from my own personal reflections and does not necessarily represent the thoughts, feelings or opinions of the Lakota People or Native Americans in general.
"What is Life? "It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. The True Peace. The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.
#onlyinsouthdakota#Lakota#lakotasioux#lakotatribe#lakotanation#lakotavisions#LakotaForever#LakotaBlessing#myxoadventures#hifromsd#sd#discoverblackhills#southdakota#blackhills#nature#unleashtheadventure#nationalparkservice#hifromsd#sodak#letsgosomewhere#photography#travelphotography#southdakotagram#nationalparks#visitsouthdakota#nps#wanderlust#exploremore#getoutside#visitrapidcity #southdakotalife#blackhillsbadlands #discoversouthdakota