Jimbob's Journal
by Jim Harris

The young Lakota warrior wandered alone in the desert. He had tears in his eyes and a great sadness in his heart. He had incurred the wrath of the United States government by fighting for his beliefs. Surely the government would eventually find him and put him in jail - or worse. He worried that he might never see his family or his homeland again.

Then he had a vision. In it, he heard all of the creatures of the Earth, speaking in unison, "We are here, we have always been here, and we will never let you down as long as you believe in us". From that moment on, his loneliness and sadness were gone. He knew that he had found his own truth, and that there was no punishment that he could not endure for the sake of his Mother Earth. He was eventually jailed for his actions, and considered it an honor to suffer for his ideals

You may be surprised to know that this story took place in the 1990's, not the 1890's, but things don't change much for a people who measure time in moons and seasons rather than in fads and technologies. They tell stories that have passed down unchanged through hundreds of generations. They are tied to the Earth and to all of its inhabitants in a way that most humans can no longer understand. It can't be learned from any book, or induced by any drug, it is a living, spiritual thread that stretches back to a time before recorded history.

In the Native American world view, all life is interconnected and all has spirit. It is said that Geronimo could summon storms to protect him from his adversaries, and some modern legends also attest to that sharing in the power of nature by those who believe. Children are taught that every living thing has a lesson to learn, a tale to tell. When you break lifelines and disrupt cultures and families, you destroy their harmony and weaken their spirit, and spirit is considered the most important part of one's being. It transcends the limitations and weaknesses of the body, and affects all the other spirits around it. By living up to your highest standards, you strengthen your spirit and make the road easier for those who follow in your footsteps.

None of this may make sense to us modern Americans, but there are those among us to whom it is undeniable truth. I respectfully submit that we who now live on this land owe it to our own spirits to try to understand, and to attempt to live in closer harmony with our world.

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