Much strife occurs because of the egos of humans trying to create a utopia that will never be or to preserve one that they believe exists which cannot be preserved. You know, like nationalism.
Yesterday, I shared the words of Thunder Traveling over the Mountain (TTM), or his Nez Percé name of In-mut-too-yah-lat-lat, known more generally as Chief Joseph. His tribe was subdued and subjugated by the deceitful dealings of an egotistical government bent on nullifying or, even worse, eradicating the Niimiîpuu, the true, pre-white tribal name — The People. My intention here is not to put any group above another, any tribe or nation above another, but I use them because of the words of TTM, which resonate with much of my philosophy and certainly my heart.
I recorded some of those words: “I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more.” When words and actions emanate from the heart, they should be as relevant and applicable today as when they were spoken. Heart truth grows like ancient trees, rooting ever deeper, spreading ever wider, blessing ever greater the environment in which they now stand.
Thunder Traveling over the Mountain spoke of his tribe’s laws that “were good. They told us to treat all men as they treated us…” Remind you of anything? “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” or “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” TTM saw through the lying egos of the government that represented those words.
In the 17 pages of his speech as given in Great Speeches by Native Americans(Bob Blaisdell, ed.), the spirit of what he says is “I know what you have done, what you are doing, and how you are thinking.” He literally says, “We ask to be recognized as men…We shall be alike — brothers of one father and one mother that all people may be one people.” Not many of his own or the white population agreed with his words. Not many today would, either, if really forced to make a statement here in America. Hispanics? Muslims? African Americans? Whites? Yes, it is a two-way street referring to all people towards all others.
TTM also said, “If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike.” It’s really not that complicated unless maneuvering is occurring to surreptitiously favor some over others.
The good news is that those who follow their hearts, plus some who probably don’t but at least are friends, have heard and agree with those expansive words. Thankfully, those like Thunder Traveling over the Mountain and others who follow their hearts have made their voices known, and it is necessary. Lessons were not learned, then, and they still are not. However, knowing and living our hearts will always counter societal, governmental, and political negativity and in some cases defeat hatred and ignorance.
So, if we think that America will escape change, it will not. The egoic struggle to maintain a perceived ideal from the past has caused “much trouble and blood.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s amazing “I Have a Dream” speech brings this full circle: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”
Consider these: Indians not declared citizens until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 and no full rights for some until the Nationality Act of 1940. No Civil Rights Act until 1964. The Declaration declared the truth that “all men are created equal.” Women, too -- by the way, we still deal with gender inequality. Another by the way is that whether American citizens or not, the truth remains that all are created equal — anytime, anywhere, any immigrant.
The fact that issues surrounding freedom and equality abound proves the inherent value of those. Those who do not wish to lose control, which is based on ego, know what’s at stake.
We, as individuals, can realize equality and freedom and live those significantly if, and only if, we come to know self, value our own souls, and experience the freedom of fulfilling our life purpose. America is a nation where that sort of freedom could be fully realized, but it is still not completely so. Freedom, equality, and utopia ultimately can only be experienced individually; however, the more enlightened individual souls there are, the more we can have the sense of an enlightenment as a nation — a united people, an equal people, a free people.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!