Recently, a good friend of mine went to spend time with the Native American people up in South Dakota. I was excited because of this wonderful experience and awaited their tales about such an amazing opportunity. It's quite special, and an honor to go. I have great respect for different cultures and idealistically I thought that the stories brought back would be full of great importance, beauty, and growth. They were, but not quite what I had originally invasion. The tribes of the past are a shadow of their former glory; most of us know this because of history lessons. Still, I was not prepared for what I learned from my friend, a psychology major, who went there to help and work with the people.
Here is a TED talk about the reservation:
I was told about all of these things and more. My heart sank, because I have so much love and respect for these people. Despite all of this, my dear friend had an unforgettable positive experience as well. They got to participate in an ancient celebration, learned about true generosity, and made many new friends.
I'm also reminded of this article that I so desperately needed today. It made me remember once more that the world is wonderful and beautiful. Humanity has grown so much, and as the author puts it, "We're living in the glorious golden age of civilization and that life is improving for the species at a dizzying rate not even hippies could have hoped for in their smelliest dreams."
This is worth the read:
There's always going to be something wrong with the world, and there's always going to be something right. It matters how we deal with it, learn from it, and make better choices from it. Life may be confusing at times, but it’s still invaluable.
We make choices that affect everyone and everything. Do good and it will pay off. Little things are the most important too because they cause ripples. I'm always so touched when someone writes to tell me that they've made a positive change in some way. It happens all of the time, and there are too many lovely examples to count! It brings a smile to my face just thinking about all of you out there, and how you've changed the world in some way. After all, an ocean is just a multitude of drops.
I'm reminded of my last visit to the farmer's market. I was in line waiting to pay for my produce and the lady in front of me stated that she didn't want her beet greens. I kindly asked her if I could have them because they're really good for juicing. Not only did she give me the greens, she paid for another bunch of beets and gave them to me as a gift because she wanted to support the local farms more. I was completely is awe, and it almost brought me to tears because I was so happy. If it wasn't for the cantaloupe in my right hand, and the honeydew in my left, I would have gave her the biggest hug ever! After I paid for my fruit, I ran off to catch up with her, but alas, she disappeared into the crowd and I wasn't able to give her that big hug.
We can always do something for someone else; it doesn't matter how big or small because it will make a difference in someone's life. It doesn't even have to be monetary either, because many say that they don't have anything to give. Sometimes a smile, listening, or a kind gesture is all someone else needs. If we can all respect and love each other equally, then perhaps one day we'll have less stories like the ones concerning the Native American people in the history books of the future.