Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Want What You Have, Gratitude, Rememberance & Transforming Our Hearts



This year as we gather with family and friends in this Thanksgiving Season, let's try something different.
Instead of wishing for more of or different in our lives, let's "Want What We Have".....meaning let's not be wanting, whining, complaining and striving for what is out of reach, but let's be embracing what we have NOW.
Embrace the good in your life as it is NOW....not what you hope it to be tomorrow or the next day or the next.
Embrace the good things, both the material and the intangible in your life.
And most of all, embrace and celebrate the people in your life.
Today is afterall, all we are guaranteed.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

And let's not get too caught up in the Myth of America on this the day we give Thanks.


Americans are very adept at rearranging history so that it reflects upon us as a just people, a caring people.  We tend to sweep under the rug anything our ancestors did that we, the current more enlightened generation, feels puts us, as a nation, under a bad light.

Like the whole invading a foreign land and systematically killing off the aboriginal peoples that were already here and stealing their land.

I am sure our white, European forefathers felt it was their God given right to treat the heathen "savages" they found upon the American shores the way in which they did.
The founding fathers, in the guise of the Federal Government pushed them off their land and broke every Treaty that was ever made with the indigenous peoples.  They made it so the Native American could no longer lead the life they wished.  And when the native peoples pushed back, our government went on a campaign to vilify the Native American to justify their Genocide against the race.


As we gather to remember how truly blessed we are as Americans this year, let's take a moment or two to remember that this day, Thanksgiving Day, is a Day of Mourning for the Indigenous Peoples of our Country.  It is a time for them to gather and mourn the decimation of their culture at the hands of the Europeans who came from across the sea.


We can't jump in a time machine and go back like Peabody and Sherman from those old Saturday morning cartoons to the early days of our American history and "do over" the parts where we were not at our best.
But we CAN be respectful of their losses and their feelings at this time.
And we SHOULD take steps both within ourselves to change our hearts AND work to bring our Native brethren into the Circle of Inclusion of the bounties of our country.

Do you realize that Native Americans are among the most impoverished group in America?  While some tribes have been able to use American corporate models to provide a wellspring of funds for their peoples, many of the Native peoples in the Midwest and Southwest in this country live on reservations where destitution and squalor abound. 
One such place is Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
Consider a donation this year to the NATIONAL RELIEF CHARITIES.
Or get in touch with the FRIENDS OF PINE RIDGE RESERVATION and see how you can help.
I have worked with the Pine Ridge Group before on different projects.  They are always much appreciative of any help you can lend, be it monetary donations, items or taking a trip to the reservation to lend a hand in person if you have the time and the skills that would make you a valuable helper.

It's a time both to look back at how we got here but it's also a time to build stronger bonds of Brotherhood between ALL Americans.
During this Season of Giving let there truly be room at the table for all mankind.

Sluggy


9 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing the information on Pine Ridge Reservation.. I would love to hear more about how you were involved with them. And I will be donating to their cause.

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    1. The friends group is not directly an arm of any native organization. It's just a group of people who have contacts within the "rez" community and organized to do outreach into the "english" world. I have donated to their children's Christmas project(just like what Salvation Army & Marine Corp does with their toy drives), another Project to supply winter blankets to the elderly(insulated housing is sorely lacking on the rez)and a project for school supplies for some rez schools.
      There is a yahoo group you can join if you wish to but you don't have to be a part of that to donate money or items.
      If you look around on the Friends of PRR site, you'll find all kinds of projects and needs from Xmas gifts for kids to building or refurbishing homes on the rez to providing healthcare to just about anything.
      I hope you find something that speaks to you.

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  2. You are forgetting Manifest Destiny. How can you argue with Providence? If God wanted the Europeans to have the North American continent, who are we to argue? Killing is justified by the Old Testament when people were promised land. The DWEM followed suit. (Dead White European Males)

    As for the problems in the Indian nations, is it possible, just possible that they are still being systemically and with government assistance victimized? WE are the ones, through our government that assists them in their addiction-driven economy. If a person of Native American blood can sit and collect money from the casinos, why should we encourage better conditions, education, and removing an addiction-driven economy from their future?

    Sorry for the rant, but maybe it matches yours?

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    1. The problem is that the Indian National is separate but not. Some tribes have turned the tables and used the white man's addiction to gambling to get the upper hand for once. How many native peoples were taken advantage of through the centuries with the DWEM's alcohol? I say turn about is fair play. ;-)

      The truly needy are those on the reservations out west. There are no jobs, the land they have been "given" supports little farming, there is no economy there for them. Drug and alcohol use and suicide rates are through the roof. Medical assistance and educational intervention are desperately needed. This impoverished group doesn't have the political pull like other "non-white" minorities do to get the attention of the federal govt.
      Unless they have leased mineral rights, they get no payments from the govt. if they live on rez. Natives weren't even granted voting citizen status until 1924 and they were kept from voting in NM until 1962! Rez residents have needs but they also need a hand up(education, training)if they are going to change their lot in life.

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    2. I was not objecting to their making money from a white man's addiction. However, getting money for yourself from an addiction is an addiction-driven economy, not conducive to bettering yourself as a minority. Payouts from casinos are regulated unless it is an Indian-owned casino. So, any white who goes to an Indian casino has less of a chance to win at anything. I don't object to that.

      Over the years I have wanted to teach at a reservation. I am not sure I am young enough to stand the harsh conditions under which I would have to live.

      Anyone who wants to be treated fairly by the DWEM is further marginalized in this country. I have experienced this myself and seen it in action. Anyone who acquieses will be treated more faborably. No, not with rights but with smiles...lol...horrid but true.

      I really don't think we need to give anyone anything, just allow people a fair chance. However, the govt wants to give a piddling bit and call it all fixed, all done. Decent housing and access to helping themselves should be given. The fair chance is what is missing in all programs we have. Access to helping themselves includes education, a good education. Food stamp mentality will not allow anyone to succeed and thrive. We know that. Education is the key. That is why I am an educator. Most people want to learn how to succeed. I truly believe this. It is not just a job to me.

      I did not know about NM voting. That is so illegal. How do governments get away with this? (Rhetorical only)

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    3. Actually, giving someone adequate housing, healthful food, and freedom from worry is necessary for someone to study, learn, and excel. Most people cannot buck all the odds and be successful.

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  3. What you have posted, IMO is an essential message for us all on this day. Native Americans don't, nor should we expect them too, embrace our idea of this day.

    Now as a female and a socially conscious American, I am sure it doesn't surprise you why Victoria's Secret was so clueless as to the offense of dressing up a psuedo-"Indian" lingerie model. Where I live, there is a large native population and it makes one very aware of the cultural issues.

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    1. There are many offensive to this group things in our society still.....just look at the sports teams names!lol
      And I won't even get into how I feel about the derogatory stereotypes perpetrated upon anyone of Southern extraction and the rewriting of history by the Northern conquerors after our great internal struggle. ;-)

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    2. Sluggy,
      I suffer from those horrendous stereotypes of the Southerner even to this day, especially in online encounters. You do have a way with words.

      Unfortunately, stereotypes are based on a shred of truth, magnified until the wearers of the unwitting and unwilling wearers of the stereotypes sometimes try to live down to expectations.

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