Lately, I have been reading this book The Wisdom of the Native Americans edited by Kent Nerburn. I am sure I have mentioned to people before how much I love learning about other cultures. The Native American one is one I have loved the longest, and not just because I have Cree ancestry myself. These various groups of people were wise beyond mere words. Their beliefs have always been far more in depth with nature, the people and everything else in the world around them. No matter how many tribes there were (and are today) with their differences and various customs, they all shared the same ideals of “honoring” the Earth. Which, if you really think about it, is far wiser than what we do today. I mean, look at how we treat our planet with the air and water pollution and the arguing over the loss of money, greedy on their parts, if they “Go Green.” (Kudos to Denmark(?) I believe it was for going 100% Green with their energy, etc).
The Native Americans didn’t just simply take and take some more. No. What they did was take what they needed and shared and cared for their community as a whole. One of my favorite quotes is by Sitting Bull right away in the beginning:
“Let us put our minds together and see what kind of life we can make for our children.”
I love this quote as it reminds me so much of how I am constantly arguing for the equal education opportunities for children today (this includes both first and third world countries). My main, and favorite example, for first world countries on their education system would be the United States, and not just because for such a wealthy nation they do a pretty piss poor job at providing a well enough education for their future generations.
First, all through out elementary to high school we spend most of our time studying for these standardized tests that were created under this atrocious act known as “No Child Left Behind Act” (referred to as NCLB from here on out). Yeah, great plan there Bush and the US. Let’s pass an act where now even the top schools in this country can be referred to as Title IX that need the extra funds (when they’re not) and receive money from the state, while the horribly impoverished community schools receive worse and worse teachers, as well as less and less funds. Now, according to your new act they aren’t eligible for state or federal funding due to not passing enough students on their standardized tests. Now, again, those students and their community have lost even more teachers and opportunities that are going to the well to do schools that are private or have lots of income from the surrounding community. *insert sarcastic round of applause*
On top of all this, the option of going to college/ university after graduating high school is getting to be more and more of a nightmare for our generations. You go to university, end up in debt sometimes almost tens of thousands to a $100,000, decline to offer you any extra financial aid you may need, college tuition goes up the next year, and the cycle continues. It’s funny since you need a job to pay off all this debt, yet in order to make enough money to pay off all these high rates of debt one needs a high paying job. However, this high paying job requires one to have at least a bachelor’s degree (let’s say for arguments sake) in order to make that amount of money to pay off that debt.
Of course, with today’s economy still being so crappy as it is one would still need to almost make the decision to go to university and through them into that debt just to make a satisfying living. *I see what you did there Murica*
As Sitting Bull’s quote stated, “Let us put our minds together…” Together my dear politicians and people. TOGETHER! There have been countless points in my life where I have agreed with someone based off the evidence provided that their idea may prove to be the better option. So what? It wasn’t mine, which may suck for me in the end now and then, but it ended up being better for everyone else in the long run. It may seem like SO MUCH WORK to give it a shot, but trying and failing is better having not tried at all when you may have been able to succeed at the same time. But, one will never know if they don’t try right?
I am always disappointed when one chooses greed and themselves over the future: aka the children. It will be them who will have to clean up our messes when we are gone (just as my generation is trying to do with the one before us), it will be them who may not have the chance to enjoy a university setting and experience…it will be them who are affected by the opportunities taken away.
So, “Let us [indeed] put our minds together and see what kind of life we can make for our children.” Because, sometimes, to take a step forward you have to take two steps back.